Microsoft’s Q1 results exceed well-managed expectations

Microsoft’s most recent financial performance figures caused a 10% jump in the company’s share price, despite revealing a 14% fall in revenue year-on-year.

During the software giant’s first quarter of the financial year, combined revenues fell to $12.92 billion, and net income dropped by 18% to $3.6 billion year-on-year.

The company rejigged its reporting structure for the quarter, creating a ‘Windows and Windows Live’ division. This replaces what used to be known as its Client division and includes the online component of its Windows offerings, previously part of its Online Services division.

In its inaugural quarter, this division was Microsoft’s biggest loss maker, with revenues falling 40% to $4.3 billion. This figure included some presales for its Windows 7 operating system, which went on general release this week.

Revenues for the Server and Tools division actually grew by 0.5% to $3.4 billion. The Business division, meanwhile, saw revenue fall 21% to $4.4 billion.

The results triggered a 10% jump in the company’s share price, as they significantly outstripped the expectations of investment analysts. “The numbers were unbelievable,” one analyst told reporters.

That effect may well be a result of Microsoft’s distinctly gloomy commentary on the state of the economy and its own business. “We remain more cautious than most about the state of the world economy,” CFO Chris Lidell said in April 2009. “While we’d all like to think the economic recovery will be soon and painless, we unfortunately think it will be slow and painful.”

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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