Microsoft posts record $18.06B revenue, but aQuantive write-off still stings

Image Credit: Sean Ludwig/VentureBeat

Microsoft earned record revenue of $18.06 billion for its financial fourth quarter, but its massive write-off of ad company aQuantive still made the company post a $492 million loss, the company announced today.

The company had revenue of $18.06 billion versus $17.37 billion in the year-ago quarter. Its loss equaled out to a loss of 6 cents a share versus a 69 cent per share profit a year ago.

As announced earlier, Microsoft took a one-time charge this quarter of $6.2 billion to write off its 2007 acquisition of aQuantive, an online ad service that did positively nothing for the company.

Microsoft is in the midst of a ton of product changes. The next 12 months will see full releases of Windows 8, Office 2013, Windows Phone 8 for smartphones, Xbox 360′s ambitious SmartGlass software, an updated Windows Azure with IaaS support, and more. The company’s earnings picture could change drastically in that time frame.

“We delivered record fourth quarter and annual revenue, and we’re fast approaching the most exciting launch season in Microsoft history,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in a statement. “Over the coming year, we’ll release the next versions of Windows, Office, Windows Server, Windows Phone, and many other products and services that will drive our business forward and provide unprecedented opportunity to our customers and partners.”

Digging into individual divisions, here’s what Microsoft posted:

Server & Tools (SQL Server, System Center): Revenue grew 13 percent.
Business Division (Office): Revenue grew 7 percent.
Windows & Windows Live (Windows 7): Revenue declined 13 percent.
Online Services (Bing): Revenue grew 8 percent.
Entertainment and Devices Division (Xbox, Skype): Revenue grew 20 percent.

Wall Street analysts had been expecting revenue of $18.13 billion, according to First Call.

Investors responded mildly to the results, with Microsoft’s stock trading up about 2 percent in after-hours trading.

Steve Ballmer photo: Sean Ludwig/VentureBeat