Sat, Jan 21, 2012 - Page 10 News List

Weak PC market hurts Microsoft’s annual revenues

AFP, NEW YORK

The weak market for personal computers is cutting into Microsoft Corp’s profits.

The US software giant on Thursday reported a US$6.62 billion net profit for the second quarter of its fiscal year, slightly better than the forecast of Wall Street analysts, but down from US$6.63 billion in the same quarter a year ago.

Revenue rose 5 percent in the quarter, which ended on Dec. 31, to US$20.89 billion, slightly below the US$20.93 billion expected by analysts.

Earnings per share of US$0.78 for the quarter were better than the US$0.76 forecast by analysts.

“We saw strong demand for our business products and services, despite the soft PC market and continuing economic uncertainty in key parts of the world,” Microsoft chief financial officer Peter Klein said in a statement.

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said the company “delivered solid financial results, even as we prepare for a launch year that will accelerate many of our key products and services.”

“Coming out of the Consumer Electronics Show, we’re seeing very positive reviews for our new phones and PCs,” Ballmer said.

Revenue from Windows fell 6.3 percent to US$4.74 billion. Microsoft said it has sold more than 525 million licenses for the latest version of its computer operating software, Windows 7.

Revenue from Microsoft’s business division rose 3 percent to US$6.28 billion and the company said it has sold nearly 200 million licenses for its Office 2010 software during the past 18 months.

Revenue from the server and tools unit rose 11 percent to US$4.77 billion, while Microsoft’s online services division saw a 10 percent revenue increase to US$784 million.

Revenue increased by 15 percent at the entertainment and devices division — maker of the Xbox 360 game console — to US$4.24 billion.

“This holiday season was the strongest in Microsoft history,” Microsoft CEO Kevin Turner said.

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