Microsoft Corp beat analysts’ estimates for fourth-quarter revenue and profit, driven by continued sales increases from its cloud business and sending its shares to all-time highs.
Since Chief Executive Satya Nadella took over in 2014, Microsoft has been shifting away from its Windows operating system software and toward cloud services, in which customers move their computing work to data centers managed by Microsoft.
Revenue growth in Azure was 64% in the fiscal fourth quarter ended June 30, compared with 89% a year earlier and 73% in the prior quarter. Microsoft does not provide an absolute revenue figure for Azure, blending it into its “intelligent cloud unit,” which had revenue of $11.4 billion compared with analyst expectations of $11.0 billion, according to Refinitiv data.
Microsoft also forecasted between $10.3 billion and $10.5 billion in intelligent cloud sales for the fiscal first quarter, with a midpoint above analyst estimates of $10.13 billion. The forecast helped send shares of Microsoft up more than 2.6% to record highs above $140 in after-hours trading.
Cloud growth powered Microsoft’s market value past $1 trillion for the first time in April. On Thursday, Microsoft’s Azure-based business segment for the first time ever reported slightly more quarterly revenue than its Windows-based segment.—Reuters