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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

Topic: earnings

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January 27, 2015 at 9:09 AM

Microsoft stock plunges as investors digest earnings

Update 1:49 p.m.:

Microsoft’s stock recorded the largest decline in 18 months after the company lowered the bar for its financial year ahead.

Microsoft released a mixed set of quarterly financial results Monday. The company’s profit met Wall Street expectations, but the report brought some signs that Microsoft’s Office and Windows businesses were stumbling more than investors had expected.

On a rough day for stocks across the board, Microsoft was hit particularly hard. Shares fell $4.35, or 9.3 percent, to close at $42.66 a share. The decline wiped out about 40 percent of the gains made in the 11 months since Satya Nadella was appointed as Microsoft’s third chief executive.

Tuesday’s swoon came as investors reacted to Microsoft’s dour outlook for the rest of its fiscal year.

The company’s expectations for how much cash it will bring in during the current quarter were “shockingly low,” John DiFucci, an analyst with Jefferies, said in a note to clients.

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January 26, 2015 at 6:06 PM

Microsoft’s earnings: Looking under the hood

Microsoft’s most recent quarter was a good news, bad news affair.

The company’s business-focused cloud-computing unit continued its pattern of double-digit sales growth, weighing in as a $5.5-billion-a-year business. But Microsoft’s biggest moneymaker — its commercial licensing group, which sells businesses Windows, server products, and Office — stumbled a bit. One-time charges, from employee severance bills to a tax adjustment from the IRS to the pain of a stronger dollar, wiped out a few hundred million dollars in profit.

Our big-picture story on the 11% drop in Microsoft profit during the three months ended in December lives here. For a geekier take on how Microsoft’s two main business units fared, read on.

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January 23, 2015 at 4:31 PM

Microsoft earnings coming Monday: Holiday sales, the cloud and freebies

Microsoft plans to release its quarterly earnings after the stock market closes on Monday afternoon.

Not to spoil the surprise, but Microsoft almost certainly pulled in a ton of money during the last three months of 2014. How much, and where, exactly, is what Wall Street analysts are going to focus on.

Here are some things to watch out for:

Holiday sales. Microsoft, as usual, flooded the airwaves with ads (this year focused on selling its Surface Pro 3 tablet), and offered discounts and software bundles to get folks to buy an Xbox. Microsoft’s occasionally maligned Surface unit narrowly turned a profit in the three months ended in September (by a metric that excludes advertising and other costs). Did the Surface, mammoth holiday ad campaign and all, turn in another positive performance?

Record revenue, lower profits. Analysts polled by Bloomberg think Microsoft racked up a record $26.3 billion in sales in the quarter. But Microsoft’s profit is expected to dip, to about $6 billion (71 cents a share, excluding one-time items), from $6.56 billion (78 cents a share) a year earlier. Why? Part of the reason is Microsoft is now firmly embedded in the hardware business after buying Nokia‘s phone unit. Hardware is typically a lower margin business than software. Think of it this way: for every phone or Xbox Microsoft sells, the company has to buy the parts and labor to put it together. Copies of Microsoft Office software can be sold by the millions with much less in embedded costs. Holiday sales, weighted as they are toward gadgets, tend to drag on Microsoft’s profitability.

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October 23, 2014 at 8:58 PM

Microsoft beats Wall Street estimates in first quarter earnings

[This story is running in the print edition of The Seattle Times Oct. 24, 2014.]

Microsoft beat Wall Street expectations for its fiscal first-quarter earnings with a combination of solid strength among its corporate customers, a fast-growing cloud business, and surprising progress in the consumer-hardware market.

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, Microsoft on Thursday reported revenue of $23.2 billion, profit of $4.54 billion and earnings per share of 54 cents.

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July 22, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Microsoft beats on revenue, misses on profit in fourth quarter results

Microsoft beat Wall Street expectations for revenue but fell short in earnings per share in its fiscal fourth quarter earnings, reported today.

For the quarter ended June 30, Microsoft reported revenue of $23.38 billion, profit (net income) of $4.61 billion and earnings per share of 55 cents.

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April 24, 2014 at 8:46 AM

Microsoft reports third quarter earnings today, ahead of Nokia deal closure

Microsoft reports its fiscal third quarter earnings today, a day ahead of the expected closure of Microsoft’s deal to acquire Nokia’s handset business.

CEO Satya Nadella is scheduled to be on the earnings conference call today, which will be webcast starting at 2:30 p.m. During the call, Nadella may also address the Nokia deal.

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January 24, 2014 at 8:11 AM

Microsoft’s second quarter earnings beat estimates

[This story is running in the print edition of The Seattle Times Jan. 24, 2014.] Usually, it’s Microsoft’s corporate customers that help the company report solid financial results each quarter. This time, Microsoft’s consumer and hardware customers pulled their weight, too. On Thursday, Microsoft handily beat analysts’ estimates for its fiscal second quarter, which ran from October…

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January 23, 2014 at 6:00 AM

What to look for in Microsoft’s second quarter earnings report today

Microsoft is reporting its second quarter earnings this afternoon. Things to keep an eye out for include:  Any update on the CEO search; any new figures on how many Xbox One consoles have been sold (Microsoft’s latest figure, from earlier this month, was 3 million consoles sold through the end of 2013); an indication of how…

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