• Microsoft stock rises on $3.1B profit report

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    SAN FRANCISCO: Microsoft said Tuesday it posted a profit of $3.1 billion in the just-ended quarter, swinging into the black a year after hefty charges from writing off mobile phone assets.

    The profit in the tech giant’s fourth fiscal quarter was nearly identical to the loss from a year earlier, when it took charges of more than $7 billion to reflect the lower value of the Nokia mobile phone division it had acquired.

    Revenue dipped to $20.6 billion from $22.2 billion in the same period a year ago.

    “This past year was pivotal in both our own transformation and in partnering with our customers who are navigating their own digital transformations,” said chief executive Satya Nadella.

    Nadella told a conference call, “we’re proud of what we achieved and particularly how we are positioned for new growth.”

    Overall, the results were better than most forecasts and sparked an after-hours gain of more than three percent for the company, which is seeking to shift its emphasis to cope with declining sales of personal computers.

    Under Nadella, Microsoft is trying to reduce its dependence on software sales, and boost its role in services and cloud computing, with some contributions from its Xbox gaming platform and Surface tablets.

    Nadella said in a statement, “the Microsoft Cloud is seeing significant customer momentum and we’re well positioned to reach new opportunities in the year ahead.”

    Microsoft closed out its fiscal year with a 38 percent rise in profit to $16.8 billion. Over the past quarter, Microsoft boosted revenue in its “Productivity and Business Processes” unit, which includes Office, the software suite that has been largely moved to the internet cloud.

    The company’s “Intelligent Cloud” operations also grew, driven by revenue growth from Azure, Microsoft’s platform for business cloud computing.

    AFP

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