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Microsoft cloud growth beats expectations

Microsoft on Thursday reported quarterly profit of $13.2 billion, powered in large part by a steadily growing cloud computing business that the company says now accounts for 30% of its total revenue.
The Redmond, Washington-based company said it had net income of $1.71 per share in the fiscal fourth quarter, which ended June 30. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, were $1.37 per share.
The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.21 per share.
The increase in net income was 49% but was affected by a one-time tax benefit from transferring some properties from foreign subsidiaries to the U.S. and Ireland. The software maker also surpassed forecasts by posting revenue of $33.7 billion in the period, a 12% increase over the same time last year. Eleven analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $32.7 billion.
The company's fastest-growing segment was what it calls the "intelligent cloud," which includes server products and its Azure cloud computing platform. The segment's revenue was $11.4 billion, up 19% from a year ago.
CEO Satya Nadella said Thursday "it was a record fiscal year for Microsoft, a result of our deep partnerships with leading companies in every industry."
In its latest corporate deal, the company announced Wednesday that it's partnering with AT&T to migrate some of AT&T's "non-network infrastructure" onto Microsoft's cloud platform.
Microsoft shares have climbed 34% since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has climbed 19%. In the final minutes of trading on Thursday, shares hit $135.83, an increase of 29% in the last 12 months.


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