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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: second quarter earnings

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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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Comments | More in Financial | Topics: earnings, microsoft, second quarter earnings

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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Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: earnings, second quarter earnings