Microsoft Profit Destroys Projections, Stock Jumps

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Microsoft Corp. pulled in a lot more profit than was expected in its fiscal first quarter, pushing the company's stock up more than 4% in late trading Thursday. The tech giant reported net income of $4.7 billion, or 60 cents a share, on sales of $20.5 billion. After adjustments for deferred revenue and other effects, Microsoft claimed profit of 76 cents a share on sales of Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected Microsoft to collect adjusted profit of 68 cents a share on sales of $21.7 billion. Microsoft credited its cloud business for its performance, with revenue for Azure--Microsoft's cloud-computing offering that competes with Amazon.com Inc.'s Amazon Web Services division-- rising 116% year-over-year, the company said. "Our first quarter results showed continued demand for our cloud-based services," Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood said in Thursday's announcement. Microsoft shares closed with a 0.5% decline at $57.25, but jumped to about $60 in late trading after results were released.

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