Microsoft Earnings Overcome Nokia, Restructuring Costs

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Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) reported first-quarter fiscal 2015 results after markets closed Thursday. The software behemoth reported diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.54 on revenues of $23.2 billion. In the same period last year the company reported EPS of $0.62 on revenues of $18.53 billion. The consensus estimates called for EPS of $0.49 on revenues of $22.02 billion.

The quarter’s EPS result includes the impact of $1.14 billion ($0.11 per share) in integration of the Nokia business and restructuring expenses for the massive layoffs in July.

In the quarter, the newly acquired Nokia business contributed more than $2.6 billion to Microsoft’s revenues and $478 million to gross margin, up from $1.99 billion in revenues and an operating loss of $692 million in the prior quarter.

Commercial cloud revenue rose 128% and Windows volume licensing revenue rose 10%. The company now claims more than 7 million new subscribers to its Office 365 Home and Personal subscription base, up more than 25% sequentially.

Microsoft still declines to report unit sales on its Xbox One game controller, but did say that it sold 2.4 million Xbox consoles in the quarter, which combines sales for the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One. The company said that’s gain of 102% year-over-year. The Xbox One launched in 28 new markets during the quarter.

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Microsoft did not offer guidance in its press release, but said that it would provide guidance during its conference call later in the afternoon.

The consensus estimate for the company’s second fiscal quarter EPS is $0.75 on revenues of $27.87 billion. For the full fiscal year ending in June 2015, EPS is forecast at $2.72 on revenues of $99.09 billion.

The company’s CFO, Amy Hood, said:

We delivered a strong start to the year, with continued cloud momentum and meaningful progress across our device businesses. We will continue to invest in high-growth opportunities and drive efficiencies across the organization to deliver long-term shareholder value.

In our preview of Microsoft’s earnings, we noted that the company gets an Outperform rating from UBS. This latest report will just reinforce that upbeat tone.

Thursday’s report pushed the share price up about 2.7% at $46.20 in after-hours trading. The stock closed at $44.99, and its 52-week range is $33.57 to $47.57. Prior to the earnings release, Thomson/Reuters had a consensus price target of around $48.30 on the company’s shares.

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