Microsoft Company Earnings a Mighty Whiff

24/7 Wall St.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) reported fourth-quarter and fiscal-year 2013 results after markets closed today. The software behemoth reported adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.52 on revenues of $19.9 billion for the quarter. In the same period last year, the company reported EPS of $0.67 on revenues of $18.06 billion. The consensus estimate called for EPS of $0.75 on revenues of $20.56 billion.

For the full year, Microsoft posted EPS of $2.62 on revenues of $77.31 billion, compared with a consensus estimate for EPS of $2.75 on revenues of $78.69 billion.

On a GAAP basis, EPS for the fourth quarter totaled $0.59, which includes a charge of $0.07 per share related to revenue recognition for the Windows upgrade offer.

American Cities Where Wages Are Soaring

For the 2014 fiscal year, Microsoft expects operating expenses to fall to a range of $31.3 to $31.9 billion, which is somewhat lower than the estimate of $31.6 to $32.2 billion that the company reported at the end of its third quarter. Microsoft did not offer further guidance.

The consensus estimate for first fiscal quarter 2014 EPS is $0.68 on revenues of $18.92 billion. For the full fiscal year EPS is forecast at $3.05 on revenues of $84.76 billion.

The company’s CFO said:

While our fourth quarter results were impacted by the decline in the PC market, we continue to see strong demand for our enterprise and cloud offerings, resulting in a record unearned revenue balance this quarter. We also saw increasing consumer demand for services like Office 365, Outlook.com, Skype, and Xbox LIVE. While we have work ahead of us, we are making the focused investments needed to deliver on long-term growth opportunities like cloud services.

Of Microsoft’s $19.9 billion in quarterly revenues, $4.41 billion comes from its Windows operating systems group, a year-over-year boost of 6% for the quarter. The business division’s revenue increased 14% to to $7.21 billion. Adjusting for revenue recognition differences, though, the Windows group posted a 6% drop in revenues and the business division posted a gain of just 2%.

American Cities Where Wages Are Plummeting

Today’s report is nothing short of a whiff for the world’s largest software company. CEO Steve Ballmer referred to last week’s reorganization as positioning the company for long-term success. It’s going to take more than a re-org to do that.

Shares are down about 5% at $35.44 in after-hours trading today. The 52-week range is $26.26 to $36.43. Prior to today’s release Thomson/Reuters had a consensus price target of around $35.60 on the company’s shares.

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