Microsoft Corp. produced much better profit in its fiscal fourth quarter than expected, and shares rose to prices that would be records in late trading Thursday. The company reported net income of $6.5 billion, or 83 cents a share, on sales of $23.3 billion. After adjusting for Windows revenue deferrals and other effects, the company claimed earnings of 98 cents a share on sales of $24.7 billion. Analysts on average expected adjusted earnings of 71 cents a share on sales of $24.3 billion, according to FactSet. Microsoft shares hit an intraday record price of $74.30 and closed at an all-time high of $74.22 Thursday, then gained as much as 2% in immediate trading following the report's release.
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