Microsoft Corporation shares were trading at $78.93 per share on Thursday afternoon, up $0.30 (+0.38%).
Revenue from Azure, the company's cloud computing service, grew 90 percent during the quarter, Microsoft said.
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Following the Microsoft FQ1 2018 earnings release, the company's stock surged in after-hours trades, climbing by as much as 2.51% to $80.74. Office commercial products and cloud services grew by 10% (10% in CC), including an increase for Office 365 commercial by 42% (42% in CC), and a 17% (17% in CC) decline in Office commercial products.
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Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella has turned Microsoft into a cloud-computing powerhouse, recently reshuffling the sales force and investing in new products and services. Azure commands an impressive 90 percent revenue increase from this time a year ago and income from its office products has gone up as well. Operating expenses were $8.6 billion, an increase of 16% (15% in CC) over a year ago.
Azure's strong performance helped lift the gross margin at Microsoft's cloud business to 57 percent, said Stephanie Rodriguez, director of investor relations for Microsoft. The company has been pushing heavily into cloud services, including Azure and its subscription-based Office 365 product.
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As for Windows, revenue from companies putting Pro versions of the operating system on devices was up by 4 percent. A weaker point in the quarter was gaming revenue, which slipped 1%, ahead of the launch of the Xbox One X on Nov.7. In the year-ago-quarter, Microsoft reported earnings per share of $0.76 on revenue of $22.33 billion. The 12% increase (11% in CC) can be attributed to sales of the Surface Laptop. Revenue in Intelligent Cloud rose 14% to $6.92 billion, while revenue in Productivity and Business Processes climbed 28% to $8.24 billion. Microsoft did say that revenue from Xbox software did go up by 21 percent, so it seems that current owners are spending some money on the platform at least.