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Microsoft earnings send shares soaring into the clouds

October 22, 2015

Key Speakers At The Microsoft Build Developer 2015 ConferenceKey Speakers At The Microsoft Build Developer 2015 Conference
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.Photograph by David Paul Morris — Bloomberg/Getty Images

(Reuters) – Microsoft reported better-than-expected quarterly adjusted revenue, boosted by burgeoning demand for its cloud products, sending it shares (MSFT) soaring more than 6% in extended trading on Thursday.

Under Chief Executive Satya Nadella, Microsoft has been shifting its focus to software and cloud services as demand for the Windows operating system slows.

“Cloud continues to be the Rock of Gibraltar for Microsoft as this was a source of strength yet again in the quarter,” FBC Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives said.

The results were the first under a new financial reporting structure announced last month that reduced reporting segments to three from six.

First-quarter revenue from Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud business, which includes server products and services such as Windows Server and Azure, rose 8% to $5.9 billion.

Excluding the impact of the strong dollar, revenue in the business rose 14%.

The company said Office 365, another key cloud-based offering, had about 18.2 million consumer subscribers at the end of its first quarter, an increase of about 3 million from the end of the preceding quarter.

Microsoft launched Windows 10, its first new operating system in almost three years, in July. The system, seen as critical for the company, won positive reviews for its user-friendly and feature-packed interface.

The company launched a number of new devices earlier this month, including its first ever laptop and a new Surface Pro tablet, all running on Windows 10.

Revenue in the company’s “More Personal Computing” business, which includes the Windows operating system, fell 17% to $9.4 billion.

Excluding the impact of the strong dollar, revenue in the business fell 13%.

The company got about 54% of its total revenue from outside the United States in its fiscal year 2015.

Net income rose to $4.62 billion, or 57 cents per share, in the three months ended Sept. 30, from $4.54 billion, or 54 cents per share, a year earlier.

Adjusted revenue fell to $21.66 billion, also from $23.20 billion. Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $21.03 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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