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Microsoft Tops Forecasts with Weak Guidance

October 28, 2020

Microsoft reported results for the quarter ended September 30, 2020. The firm had earnings of $1.82 per share, adjusted with $1.54 per share expected. On the top line, revenue was clocked at $37.15 billion which was more than the $35.72 billion which was expected.

Revenue was $37.2 billion and increased 12%

Operating income was $15.9 billion and increased 25%

Net income was $13.9 billion and increased 30%

Diluted earnings per share was $1.82 and increased 32%

“The next decade of economic performance for every business will be defined by the speed of their digital transformation,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft. “We are innovating across our full modern tech stack to help our customers in every industry improve time to value, increase agility, and reduce costs.”

“Demand for our cloud offerings drove a strong start to the fiscal year with our commercial cloud revenue generating $15.2 billion, up 31% year over year,” said Amy Hood, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Microsoft. “We continue to invest against the significant opportunity ahead of us to drive long-term growth.”

Microsoft is looking for $39.5 billion to $40.4 billion in fiscal second-quarter revenue. The firm's middle range of $39.95 billion was less than the consensus estimate of $40.43 billion.

Business Highlights

Revenue in Productivity and Business Processes was $12.3 billion and increased 11%, with the following business highlights:

  • Office Commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 9% driven by Office 365 Commercial revenue growth of 21% (up 20% in constant currency)
  • Office Consumer products and cloud services revenue increased 13% and Microsoft 365 Consumer subscribers increased to 45.3 million
  • LinkedIn revenue increased 16%
  • Dynamics products and cloud services revenue increased 19% (up 18% in constant currency) driven by Dynamics 365 revenue growth of 38% (up 37% in constant currency)

Revenue in Intelligent Cloud was $13.0 billion and increased 20% (up 19% in constant currency), with the following business highlights:

  • Server products and cloud services revenue increased 22% (up 21% in constant currency) driven by Azure revenue growth of 48% (up 47% in constant currency)

Revenue in More Personal Computing was $11.8 billion and increased 6%, with the following business highlights:

  • Windows OEM revenue declined 5%
  • Windows Commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 13% (up 12% in constant currency)
  • Xbox content and services revenue increased 30%
  • Surface revenue increased 37% (up 36% in constant currency)
  • Search advertising revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs decreased 10% (down 11% in constant currency)

Microsoft returned $9.5 billion to shareholders in the form of share repurchases and dividends in the first quarter of fiscal year 2021, an increase of 21% compared to the first quarter of fiscal year 2020.

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