Microsoft Corp.'s stock jumped 2.5% in after-hours trade Thursday, after the software giant beat fiscal third-quarter profit and sales expectations. For the quarter ended March 31, earnings fell to $6.59 billion, or 61 cents a share, from $6.97 billion, or 68 cents a share, in the same period a year ago, beating the FactSet consensus of 51 cents a share. Revenue rose to $21.73 billion from $20.4 billion, with commercial revenue increasing 5% to $12.8 billion, above the FactSet consensus estimates of $21.1 billion and $12.42 billion, respectively. The strengthening of the U.S. dollar reduced revenue growth by 3 percentage points, and had a 3-percentage-point negative effect on EPS. "We executed with strong operational and financial discipline again this quarter, and are seeing positive impact from our investments in key growth areas," said Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood. The stock has lost 6.7% year to date through Thursday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 1.3%.
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