Microsoft's Bottom-Line Beat Isn't Enough to Sway Investors

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) released fiscal third-quarter financial results after markets closed Tuesday. The firm said that it had $1.95 in earnings per share (EPS) and $41.7 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates that called for $1.78 in EPS and $41.03 billion in revenue. The same period from last year had $1.40 in EPS and $35.02 billion in revenue.

In terms of its segments, the company reported:

  • Revenue in Productivity and Business Processes was $13.6 billion and increased 15% (up 12% in constant currency)
  • Revenue in Intelligent Cloud was $15.1 billion and increased 23% (up 20% in constant currency)
  • Revenue in More Personal Computing was $13.0 billion and increased 19% (up 16% in constant currency)

Note that Server products and cloud services revenue increased 26% (up 23% in constant currency) driven by Azure revenue growth of 50% (up 46% in constant currency). This earnings report in particular was propelled by growth in the cloud. The Microsoft Cloud, generated $17.7 billion in commercial cloud revenue, up 33% year over year.

The company did not issue any guidance in the report. However, consensus estimates are calling for $1.78 in EPS and $42.98 billion in revenue for the coming quarter.

Microsoft returned $10.0 billion to shareholders in the form of share repurchases and dividends in the quarter, an increase of 1% year over year.

On the books, cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments totaled $125.41 billion at the end of the quarter, versus $136.53 billion at the end of fiscal 2019.

Shares of Microsoft closed Tuesday at $267.97, with a 52-week range of $169.39 to $262.70. The consensus analyst price target is $276.77. Following the announcement, the stock was initially down about 3.5% at $252.92 in the after-hours trading session.