Microsoft's fiscal 3Q revenue falls short of expectations

Markets Associated Press

Microsoft's cloud business propelled its fiscal third-quarter earnings above Wall Street's expectations, but revenue fell short, sending the software maker's stock lower in after-hours trading.

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Microsoft Corp. said Thursday that it earned $4.8 billion, or 61 cents per share, in the January-March period. That's up 28 percent from $3.76 billion, or 47 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, Microsoft earned $5.71 billion, or 73 cents per share. That's up 13 percent from $5.04 billion, or 63 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company posted revenue of $22.09 billion, up 8 percent from $20.53 billion.

Adjusted revenue, which is more closely followed by analysts, was $23.56 billion, up 6 percent from last year's $22.16 billion.

Microsoft's earnings were above expectations, but revenue fell slightly short.

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Analysts, on average, were expecting Microsoft to report adjusted earnings of 70 cents per share on revenue of $23.65 billion, according to a poll by FactSet.

As sales of Windows PCs decline, CEO Satya Nadella has been pouring money and resources into remote data centers that deliver the company's services online to smartphones, tablets and other devices. Businesses and government agencies are increasingly turning to such "cloud computing" services, which is helping Microsoft move on from its old software business.

Shares in Microsoft Corp., which is based in Redmond, Washington, slid about 1 percent to $67.65 in after-hours trading.