NEW YORK — While Microsoft’s sales continued to fall in financial results, the software company reported profits that exceeded expectations.
The company said it made $12.92 billion in sales in the first quarter of 2009, a 14 percent decline compared to $15.06 billion in sales in the same period a year ago. Because of cost savings, profit was above what analysts were expecting — $3.57 billion, or 40 cents per share, an 18 percent decline from $4.37 billion a year ago. Analysts had been expecting profit of 32 cents per share.
Sales were affected by the Windows 7 upgrade option Microsoft offered to customers who bought a PC before the operating system began selling on Thursday. The company has deferred that revenue, $1.47 billion. If the financial results had included those sales, the revenue would have been $14.39 billion, a 4 percent decline from th same period a year ago, and the company would have made 52 cents per share, and increase of 8 percent from the same period a year ago.
The company will hold a conference call to discuss earnings at 7:30 a.m. Here is a link to the earnings release.
Update 6:42 a.m.: The market likes what it’s seeing in early trading. The stock, which closed at $26.59 at the end of Thursday, has risen more than 8 percent this morning to more than $28.90.