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 Janet I. Tu.
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October 24, 2013 at 1:54 PM
Microsoft has beaten analysts’ expectations for its first quarter of fiscal year 2014.
Microsoft on Thursday reported sales of $18.53 billion and earnings per share of 62 cents on profit of $5.24 billion for the quarter ended Sept. 30.
Wall Street analysts, according to a consensus estimate, had expected Microsoft to report sales of $17.77 billion and earnings per share of 54 cents on profit of $4.51 billion, according to Bloomberg.
My story on the results is here.
And here is my story, running in today’s Seattle Times, on how Microsoft has changed the way it’s reporting its financial results to better align with the way it’s changing into a devices-and-services company.
July 20, 2013 at 12:41 PM
[This story is running in the print edition of The Seattle Times on July 20, 2013.]
A day after Microsoft reported fourth-quarter financial results far below what Wall Street analysts had expected, the company’s stock price plunged 11.4 percent — the biggest single-day drop since January 2009.
Microsoft shares closed Friday at $31.40, down $4.04.
The slide reversed some three months of gains, in which Microsoft stock went from the high $20s to an intraday high of $36.43 on Tuesday this week, when it closed at $35.96.
There are rumblings and speculation that the fourth-quarter miss and the stock-price stumble could more easily pave the way for an activist shareholder, such as ValueAct Capital, to push for a seat on the company’s board.
Earlier this year, Jeff Ubben, founder of investment firm ValueAct, divulged that his company had purchased some $2 billion of Microsoft stock, giving it a less than 1 percent stake in the company.
ValueAct would have to notify Microsoft sometime between July 31 and Aug. 30 if it intends to bring any nominations for a board seat or issues for a floor vote during Microsoft’s annual meeting, which is typically held in late November.
ValueAct already has talked with some members of Microsoft’s board about securing a seat, according to a Reuters report Friday. Ubben could not be reached for comment.
[Continue reading the story here.]
July 19, 2013 at 9:00 AM
[This story is running in the print edition of The Seattle Times July 19, 2013.]
Microsoft missed big in the fourth-quarter earnings it reported Thursday — hit especially hard on the sales side by the slumping PC market and on the profit side by a write-down in the inventory of Surface RT tablets.
Also a factor was Microsoft’s shift in how it sells some of its products, most notably Office. The company is moving away from selling traditional software licenses, where people pay a licensing fee upfront, toward a subscription model, where people pay in installments over time.
For the quarter ended June 30, Microsoft posted revenue of $19.9 billion with earnings per share of 59 cents on profit of $4.97 billion. Those figures reflect a $900 million write-down of Surface RT inventory related to a price-reduction offer for those devices.
Adjusted for that write-down, Microsoft says earnings per share would be 66 cents.
That still would have fallen short of analysts’ expectations of $20.7 billion in quarterly revenue and earnings per share of 75 cents.
All of these trends — the PC sales decline; Microsoft’s shift toward subscription fees and cloud-based services; and lukewarm demand for Windows 8 in general and the Surface tablet in particular — have “been building up for some time,” said David Cearley, an analyst with research firm Gartner.
“Some of it seems to have come to a head” in the fourth quarter, he said.
For the fiscal year, Microsoft also fell short of analysts’ estimates, posting revenue of $77.85 billion, profit of $21.86 billion and earnings per share of $2.58.
Analysts had expected revenue of $78.69 billion and earnings per share of $2.75.
Microsoft shares took a hit after the earnings report came out, trading after hours Thursday at $33.21, down $2.23, or about 6.3 percent.
Up from last year
Still, the fourth quarter and fiscal year results were up from last year’s.
In the fourth quarter of last year, Microsoft posted revenue of $18.06 billion, net loss of $492 million, and loss per share of 6 cents.
Those figures reflected some unusual events such as a write-down of the 2007 acquisition of online ad company aQuantive and deferred revenue from a Windows 8 upgrade offer.
Adjusting for those items, Microsoft had fourth-quarter 2012 revenue and earnings per share of $18.6 billion and 73 cents.
For the full year 2012, the company posted revenue of $73.7 billion and earnings per share of $2 on profit of $16.98 billion. (Those figures include the aQuantive write-down and deferred Windows 8 upgrade offer revenue.)
“In many ways, our fourth-quarter trends continued many of the trends we’ve seen earlier this year,” Amy Hood, Microsoft’s chief financial officer, said during a conference call with analysts Thursday afternoon.
One such trend is the continued decline in PC shipments, which several research firms said dropped 11 percent in the second quarter from a year ago.
Hood, who became CFO in May, also acknowledged the difficulties Microsoft is facing in what some call the “post-PC era” and what Microsoft likes to refer to as the “PC-plus era.”
“We are working to transition the business into this modern era of computing,” Hood said. “Given the complexity of the ecosystem, this journey will take time.”
Hood touted some of the company’s accomplishments, including a record $22.4 billion in unearned revenue — basically, money corporations have committed to Microsoft via multiyear licenses.
July 18, 2013 at 2:10 PM
Microsoft fell short of analysts’ expectations with its fourth-quarter financial results, reported Thursday.
For the quarter ended June 30, Microsoft posted revenue of $19.9 billion and income of $4.97 billion, with earnings per share of 59 cents.
July 18, 2013 at 8:33 AM
Microsoft is reporting its fiscal fourth quarter and year-end earnings results this afternoon.
In the meantime, here’s a look at what’s of interest going into the Q4 earnings report.
April 18, 2013 at 1:39 PM
Microsoft’s 3Q earnings beat analysts’ predicted profit estimates, fall slightly short of revenue forecasts
Microsoft exceeded analysts’ predicted estimates for profit, but fell just slightly short of revenue forecasts in its latest quarterly results.
For its fiscal third quarter, which ended March 31, Microsoft posted earnings per share of 72 cents on revenue of $20.49 billion. It reported $6.06 billion in profit.
That’s an 18 percent increase in revenue and 19 percent increase in profit from the same quarter last year.
Analysts’ consensus estimate for Microsoft’s third quarter was earnings per share of 68 cents on revenue of $20.66 billion.
The full story — with updates to come later this afternoon – is here.
April 18, 2013 at 6:00 AM
This afternoon, Microsoft will be reporting the earnings results for its fiscal third quarter, which ended March 31. I’ll be reporting on it at www.seattletimes.com. You can also listen in on the earnings conference call, which is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m., here.
In the meantime, my Seattle Times story on what analysts are expecting and looking for in the earnings report is here.