Fri, Feb 02, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Microsoft reports loss due to tax charge last quarter


Microsoft Corp on Wednesday reported a hefty loss in the past quarter, as it set aside billions of US dollars for taxes on profits it expects to bring back to the US following passage of a major tax overhaul.

The technology giant said its loss for the quarter to Dec. 31 was US$6.3 billion — as it took a charge of US$13.8 billion to pay its taxes.

Revenue for Microsoft’s fiscal second quarter rose 12 percent to US$28.9 billion as it saw gains in business services and cloud computing.

Once the world’s largest technology company, Microsoft has been rebooting as consumers shift away from Windows-powered computers to mobile devices.

This has pushed Microsoft to focus on the Internet cloud, artificial intelligence and services for connected Internet of things (IoT) devices.

“This quarter’s results speak to the differentiated value we are delivering to customers across our productivity solutions and as the hybrid cloud provider of choice,” Microsoft chief executive officer Satya Nadella said. “Our investments in IoT, data and AI services ... position us to further accelerate growth.”

Microsoft shares rose 2.45 percent in after-hours trade to US$95.01 as investors welcomed the results.

Like other big multinationals, Microsoft is repatriating a large portion of its overseas cash holdings to take advantage of a favorable tax rate under the reforms championed by US President Donald Trump and approved last year by Congress.

Microsoft has more than US$130 billion overseas and its repatriation will trigger a US tax bill estimated at US$13.8 billion.

Microsoft has not said what it intends to do with its cash.

Tech rival Apple Inc has announced it would make major new investments with its repatriated profits.

The new bill implements a tax rate of 15.5 percent compared with a possible 35 percent rate under prior law.

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