Microsoft beats earnings forecasts despite flat Windows growth

How did Microsoft weather last quarter's slump in PC shipments? Not too badly, by the looks of it. The software giant has posted results for its third fiscal quarter, which ended on March 31, and both revenue and net income are up compared to a year ago.

According to Reuters, the results are "well ahead" of what analysts were expecting. However, the figures include "deferred" revenue from previous quarters. Excluding that revenue, which is related to game consoles and upgrade deals for Windows and Office, Reuters says Microsoft's Windows business "showed zero growth."

Here are the numbers in full, first for the business as a whole...

  Q3 FY'12 Q2 FY'13 Q3 FY'13
Revenue $17.41 billion $21.46 billion $20.49 billion
Net income $5.11 billion $6.38 billion $6.06 billion

...and then for each Microsoft's main divisions:

  Q3 FY'12 Q2 FY'13 Q3 FY'13
Windows Division
$4.62 billion $5.88 billion $5.70 billion
Server and Tools $4.57 billion $5.19 billion $5.04 billion
Online Services
$0.71 billion $0.87 billion $0.83 billion
Microsoft Business
$5.81 billion $5.70 billion $6.32 billion
Entertainment and Devices
$1.62 billion $3.77 billion $2.53 billion

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer sounds fairly upbeat. "The bold bets we made on cloud services are paying off as people increasingly choose Microsoft services including Office 365, Windows Azure, Xbox LIVE, and Skype," he says in the release. "While there is still work to do, we are optimistic that the bets we've made on Windows devices position us well for the long-term."

In related news, Microsoft has announced that Peter Klein, its CFO, will be stepping down at the end of the current fiscal year—so, at the end of June. Klein has been working at Microsoft for 11 years, and he spent four of those years in his current role as CFO. The company says a new CFO will be selected from within its "finance leadership team" some time in the "next several weeks."

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