SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft continues to ride high on the potency of cloud-based computing, announcing earnings Wednesday that beat analyst expectations thanks to a 25% leap in earnings connected with cloud services and Office365.
But factoring in a one-time bookkeeping cost of $13.8 billion related to the Trump government’s new tax bill targeting corporate cash held abroad, Microsoft reported a reduction of $0.82 per share.
Leading the way in the quarter was the $ 9 billion productivity and company processes of Microsoft section, which includes the Cloud package Microsoft Office and LinkedIn. Its cloud storage and services business, including server software and Azure, grew 15% year over year to $7.8 billion. Total sales rose 12 percent to $28.9 billion.
The main stagnant place stays the organization’s Surface computers, whose sales grew just 1% in the last quarter. Microsoft has struggled with its own hardware ventures, which include failed attempts at going into the smartphone marketplace. Its most unique and promising apparatus, the HoloLens augmented-reality goggle, remains expensive and inaccessible to mainstream consumers. The personal computing segment inched up 2 percent to $12.2 billion.
But analysts focusing on CEO Satya Nadella’s cloud-obsessed strategy were buoyed by this quarter.
“Microsoft continues to be a pillar of strength on the cloud front, and the Azure expansion story remains in the first innings,” says Daniel Ives, chief strategy officer in GBH Insights. “The company has become a model of consistency”
Microsoft (MSFT) shares closed up 2.4% at $95.01 but was flat after hours.
On a call with analysts Wednesday, Nadella touted his company’s hybrid cloud alternatives for enterprise customers. He said that the company will continue to double back on creating an impact in the medical area, which range from generating wellness bots to answer clinical questions to helping investigators study the human immune system.
Neither Nadella nor CFO Amy Hood offered details about the taxation charge or what the company intended to do with its estimated $130 billion in foreign money.
Like other U.S. companies, notably rival Apple, Microsoft may take advantage of a one time window that lowers the tax rate on such profits to 15.5 percent. That’s less than the 21% tax rate on corporate earnings under the law, itself a fall from the 35% earlier speed.
Experts say companies may think about buying back stocks, paying off debt or spending new research-and-development initiatives with savings from paying taxes at the lower rate.
Adjusted for the tax charge, Microsoft reported 96 cents per share on $28.9 billion in annual earnings, topping analyst expectations of 87 cents per share $28.4 billion revenue, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.