Microsoft reported record quarterly revenue for its fiscal third quarter, generating $17.41 billion in revenue and $5.11 billion in net income, it announced today.

Quarterly revenue of $17.41 billion was a 6 percent increase from the year-ago period. Operating income of $6.37 billion was up 12% from a year ago. However, net income and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were down slightly quarter over quarter. It earned $5.11 billion net income and $0.60 per share, compared with $5.23 billion and $0.61 per share the year before.

Microsoft at least beat Wall Street estimates, which expected the company to report for $0.57 per share on revenue of $17.18 billion.

“We’re driving toward exciting launches across the entire company, while delivering strong financial results,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft, in a statement. “With the upcoming release of new Windows 8 PCs and tablets, the next version of Office, and a wide array of products and services for the enterprise and consumers, we will be delivering exceptional value to all our customers in the year ahead.”

The strongest gain by unit for Microsoft was the company’s Server & Tools business, which posted $4.57 billion revenue, a 14% increase from the year before. The worst loss by unit was its Entertainment & Devices Division, which posted revenue of $1.62 billion, a decrease of 16% from the prior period. Microsoft attributed the steep loss in gaming to a “soft” market where the Xbox isn’t playing as hard as it used to.

Although Ballmer was chipper in his statement, the company revised its business outlook downward. It has moved operating expense guidance downward, now offering a range of $28.3 billion to $28.7 billion for the full year ending June 30, 2012.

The company is likely looking forward to the launch of the Windows 8 OS later this year, which will help boost the company up even more. It also expects Windows Phones to do better as more models move into the marketplace and people get to know what the platform can offer.

Steve Ballmer photo: Sean Ludwig/VentureBeat


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