Business

$MSFT earnings are up for the start of 2014, down from last quarter

Government fines, tablet failures, slumping revenues — that was old Microsoft from way back in June.

As of July, the company’s ready to tell a new story: triumphant tablet sales, growth both in consumer and enterprise products, and a mobile platform that’s sneaking up to its place at the table one inch at a time.

Especially if you look at year-over-year data, the Microsoft outlook (hah! pun) is bright.

After a tumultuous quarter in stock prices and news, Microsoft reports earnings were down from $19.9 billion last quarter to $18.53 billion as of the end of September but up from $16 billion year-over-year.

Gross margins grew from $11.8 billion for Q1 2013 to $13.4 billion this quarter. These results include a $1.36 billion revenue deferral for Windows 8.1 pre-sales.

The company recently started breaking its earnings down into commercial and consumer business. Here, we compare data quarter-over-quarter only.

The company’s consumer business grew 4 percent to $7.46 billion, up from around $7.2 billion last quarter.

Microsoft’s commercial services increased 10 percent to $11.2 billion year over year but were down from $12.7 billion last quarter.

From a statement on the news:

“Our devices and services transformation is progressing and we are launching a wide range of compelling products and experiences this fall for both business and consumers,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft. “Our new commercial services will help us continue to outgrow the enterprise market, and we are seeing lots of consumer excitement for Xbox One, Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, and the full spectrum of Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone devices.”

“We saw strong focus across our teams, generating record first-quarter revenue even as we navigate a fundamental business transition. Our enterprise renewals were very healthy and our devices and consumer business continued to improve,” said Amy Hood, chief financial officer at Microsoft. “We are making strategic investments in areas like technological innovation, supply chain management, and global cloud operations to build for the future and create long-term shareholder value.”

It’s worth noting that last quarter, Microsoft took a nearly billion-dollar hit for its Surface RT blunders, and the company also missed analysts’ expectations by a fair measure. There was also that pesky $733 million fine from the European Commission for forcing people to use Internet Explorer.

This quarter, we can see a brighter side for Microsoft, including a $400 million chunk of revenue from its Surface tablets.

One of the most exciting stories for the company has been the growth of Windows Phone, which is expected to close out 2013 up 20 percent year-over-year. By 2014, eMarketer estimates Windows Phone shall have captured a full 8 percent of the global smartphone market.

As far as online ad sales revenue is concerned, Microsoft is projected to bring home around $2.17 billion for all of 2013, putting it in fourth place among Internet ad giants such as Google, Yahoo, and Facebook. That figure is up 15 percent year-over-year.

For the quarter, the company states that search advertising revenue grew 47 percent, with growth in money earned per search and the total volume of ads sold.

Microsoft also made strong pushes in its developer tools division as well as Internet Explorer. The company continues to focus on web-based applications for Windows 8 and is making significant appeals for developers to work on Windows Phone applications.

As far as stock prices are concerned, Microsoft is looking back at a rocky road. Here’s a look at share price fluctuations during the first quarter of fiscal year 2014.

MSFT Chart

MSFT data by YCharts

The picture grows even dimmer when held up to the mirror of Microsoft’s competition across all its business divisions, from social to gaming to ads to operating systems. As you can see, Microsoft trails the pack for Q1 2014.

MSFT Chart

MSFT data by YCharts


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