MENU

Microsoft reminds sharemarket investors it’s still a force

Although Microsoft‘s (Nasdaq: MSFT) earnings aren’t as exciting as Apple‘s (Nasdaq: AAPL) earnings, the company shows that it still knows how to break out with a record quarter when it’s crunch time.

The Redmond, Washington giant recently reported a record $17.4 billion in revenue for the third quarter, a 7% rise that translated into $0.68 of earnings per share. Top-line revenue bested the consensus estimate of $17.2 billion while bottom-line earnings were right on target.

Sales were bolstered by strong sales of the company’s flagship Office offering and Windows sales ticked up slightly.

Windows and Windows Live inched up 2% in lockstep with the PC market, and Windows 7 licenses have reached a cumulative total of 450 million licenses sold. Microsoft’s revenue for its productivity server offerings — which includes Lync, SharePoint, and Exchange — jumped by double-digits, while the server and tools segment posted a 10% increase year over year.

During the quarter, the company closed its acquisition of Skype, began rolling out its Windows Phone 7.5 Mango update, and unveiled Windows 8 at its BUILD developer conference. The Xbox scored a ninth consecutive month of being the top-selling game console domestically, besting Sony‘s (NYSE: SNE) PlayStation 3.

Bing’s organic U.S. market share increased to 14.7% and Bing-powered U.S. market share, including Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) sites, was in the ballpark of 27%. It still lags Google‘s (Nasdaq: GOOG) almost two-thirds share. Bing is part of the online services division, which continues to shed dollars, generating an operating loss of $494 million. This is actually an improvement as the unit’s loss begins to narrow.

Mr. Softy also bumped its dividend during the quarter by a healthy 25%, increasing it to $0.20 per share for the quarter, to the cheers of Microsoft dividend lovers. At the current levels, the company is handing out an annual yield near 3%.

No one really expects blowout quarters from Microsoft anymore, but the company still has what it takes to churn out consistent free cash flow — $25.1 billion over the past twelve months

If you’re looking for more investing ideas, The Motley Fool has recently released its latest free report, The Motley Fool’s Top Stock For 2012Click here now to request a copy whilst it’s still free and available.

The 5 mining stocks we’re recommending in 2019…

For decades, Australian mining companies have minted money for individual investors like you and me. But if you believe the pundits and talking heads on TV, those days are long gone. Finito! Behind us forever…

We say nothing could be further from the truth. To earn the really massive returns, you’ve got to fish where others aren’t fishing—and the mining sector could be primed for a resurgence. That’s why top Motley Fool analysts just revealed their exciting new research on 5 ASX miners they believe could help you profit in 2019 and beyond…

Including:

The best way we see to play the global zinc shortage… Our #1 favourite large-cap miner (hint: it’s not BHP)… one early-stage gold miner we think could hit the motherlode… Plus two more surprising companies you probably haven’t heard of yet!

For free access to our brand-new research, simply click here or the link below. But be warned, this research is available free for a limited time only, and we reserve the right to withdraw it at any time.

Click here for your FREE report!