Microsoft beats Q4 estimates thanks to strong cloud sales

Microsoft on Wednesday trounced market expectations for its fourth quarter, thanks to its cloud business Commercial cloud surpassed $50 billion in annual revenue for the first time this year, the company said. Microsoft Azure revenue grew at a rapid 47% year-over-year.

Microsoft’s Q4 diluted earnings came to $1.46 per share on revenue of $38 billion, up 13% year-over-year. 

Wall Street was expecting earnings of $1.37 per share on revenue of $36.5 billion. 

“The last five months have made it clear that tech intensity is the key to business resilience. Organizations that build their own digital capability will recover faster and emerge from this crisis stronger,” CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement. “We are the only company with an integrated, modern technology stack — powered by cloud and AI and underpinned by security and compliance — to help every organization transform and reimagine how they meet customer needs.”

For the full fiscal year 2020, Microsoft reported a net income of $44.3 billion and diluted earnings per share of $5.76. Revenue for the year was $143 billion, 14%.

Through the fourth quarter, Microsoft saw cloud usage and demand increase as customers continued to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, boosting revenue in its Productivity and Business Processes segment, as well as its Intelligent Cloud segment. 

Revenue in Productivity and Business Processes was $11.8 billion, up 6% year over year. Within that segment, Office Commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 5%, driven by Office 365 Commercial revenue growth of 19%. Office Consumer products and cloud services revenue increased 6%, and Office 365 Consumer subscribers increased to 42.7 million. 

Additionally, LinkedIn revenue increased 10%, while Dynamics products and cloud services revenue increased 13%. 

Within the Intelligent Cloud segment, revenue reached $13.4 billion, an increase of 17%. Server products and cloud services revenue increased 19%, driven by Azure revenue growth of 47%. Enterprise Services revenue was relatively unchanged. 

Revenue in More Personal Computing was $12.9 billion, up 14%. Within that segment, Windows OEM revenue increased 7%. Windows Commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 9%. Xbox content and services revenue increased 65%, and Surface revenue increased 28%. Search advertising revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs decreased 18%.

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