Microsoft fell slightly short of analysts’ expectations for revenue and exceeded estimates for earnings per share, as it announced quarterly financial results Thursday.
The company reported quarterly revenue of $21.46 billion – a record, up 3 percent from $20.89 billion a year earlier.
It also reported profit of $6.38 billion, or earnings of 76 cents per share, for the quarter ending Dec. 31, the second in fiscal 2013. That compares with $6.62 billion in profit and earnings per share of 78 cents last year.
Analysts had forecast revenue of about $21.5 billion and earnings per share of 75 cents.
Lisa Nelson, a Microsoft director in investor relations, attributed the revenue bump to strong support from businesses, which drove a 15 percent increase in multi-year licenses, as well as key product launches such as Windows 8.
The company did not break out Windows 8 numbers, other than to note (as it previously did) that it has sold more than 60 million Windows 8 licenses. That figure includes sales to manufacturers and to retailers.
The company did not break out figures for Surface, its first branded computing devices.
Here’s how the divisions did:
• Windows and Windows Live: $5.88 billion revenue, up 24 percent from $4.74 billion this quarter last year.
The revenue figure includes recognition of money deferred from a previous quarter for a Windows upgrade offer.
Without that deferral recognition, revenue for the division was still up 11 percent, Nelson said.
Windows 7 sales continued to drive revenue, with more than 60 percent of desktop PCs today running that operating system, up from just more than 50 percent last quarter, Nelson said.
Overall, big businesses drove double-digit growth in volume licensing for Windows.
• Business: $5.69 billion, down 10 percent from $6.31 billion last year.
Those results reflect a deferral of $788 million from Office presales, in advance of the launch of Office 2013 and the new version of Office 365, which are expected later this month.
Without those deferrals, divisional revenue rose 3 percent.
• Server and Tools: $5.19 billion, up 9 percent from $4.77 billion last year.
This division continues to grow fast, with most of the growth coming from SQL Server and System Center.
• Entertainment and Devices: $3.77 billion, down 11 percent $4.24 billion last year.
Those figures include deferred revenue of $380 million from games people bought this quarter that also includes rights to receive additional content. Without that deferral, the division’s revenue was down 2 percent.
• Online Services: $869 million, up 11 percent from $784 million last year.
Revenue per search was “up significantly,” said Nelson, who declined to give figures on that.
The loss for the division was $283 million, compared with a $459 million loss last year.