Microsoft Corp soared to record revenue in the final quarter of last year, confounding Wall Street forecasts on the back of strong demand for Xbox consoles, Surface tablets and Internet “cloud” services.
The US-based technology titan reported net income of US$6.56 billion on revenue that hit a record high of US$24.52 billion in the quarter that ended on Dec. 31.
“Our commercial segment continues to outpace the overall market, and our devices and consumer segment had a great holiday quarter,” outgoing Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said.
Microsoft shares climbed more than 3 percent to US$37.37 in after-market trading on the NASDAQ following release of the earnings figures.
“We delivered record revenue as demand for our business offerings remains high, and we made strong progress in our devices and consumer segment,” Microsoft chief financial officer Amy Hood said in the earnings release.
Sales of Surface tablets more than doubled from the previous quarter to hit US$893 million, while the firm sold 7.4 million Xbox consoles, with 3.9 million of those being the new-generation Xbox One.
Bing’s share of the Internet search market grew to 18.2 percent, while its share of the online search ad market grew about a third, Microsoft said.
Meanwhile, money made from selling Windows software to computer makers slid by 3 percent due to continued soft demand for personal computers, the firm said.
Microsoft built its empire on packaged computer software, but has been under pressure to adapt to lifestyles revolving around mobile devices and programs offered as services hosted in the “cloud.”
Microsoft reported that cloud services to businesses and consumers posted strong growth.
“They’ve got this new strategy they have been talking about for a while now, devices plus services, and both grew very healthily,” Forrester Research analyst Ted Schadler said. “This might have been a tipping-point quarter, at least in terms of that strategy.”