Microsoft's cloud powers another surprisingly strong quarter
Microsoft's cloud powers another surprisingly strong quarter
Microsoft closes fiscal 2019 with revenue spikes driven by cloud services
21 July, 2019, 16:00
Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, told SiliconANGLE that Azure's slowing growth was to be expected after several years of strong gains. The success was attributed to the growth of cloud computing activity, causing stock prices to soar. Meanwhile, Microsoft's Office cloud business puts it in the lead in area of cloud-based applications.
Shares of Microsoft were up 1.3 per cent at US$138.26 in extended trading.
Microsoft's "differentiated approach - from developer tools and infrastructure to data and analytics to AI - is driving growth", he said, boasting "the world's leading companies trust Azure for their mission-critical workloads, including more than 95 percent of the Fortune 500".
The commitment to consoles by longtime contenders in the market comes with the rise of video games hosted as subscription services streamed Netflix-style from data centers in the internet cloud, which plays to Microsoft's cloud and Xbox strengths.
For the fourth quarter ending 30 June, Microsoft posted an overall profit of $13.2bn compared to $8.9bn in the same year ago quarter. Microsoft rose 15% in the quarter, compared with a 3.8% increase in the S&P 500 Index.
LinkedIn revenue also continues to grow at a healthy rate during the quarter, it climbed 25% year-over-year. Profit margins in the business widened by 6 points to 65 per cent. Its Office 365 commercial business was up 31%. That 64% Azure growth is significant, for example, but not near the 73% and 75% of this year's previous quarters.
While this forecast may look disappointing at first glance, Microsoft's enormous size, impressive Q4 results and strong financial position underscore the fact that a company can not grow at an exponential rate indefinitely and nor do investors necessarily expect it to. Going back two years, Azure growth was more than doubling. The gross margin percentage increased because of material improvements in Azure gross margin offset by an increased mix of cloud offerings. This is the first quarter where this division has yielded Microsoft's most substantial revenue.
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The big standout, though, is the performance of Microsoft's gaming and Xbox software and services divisions: Gaming revenue dropped 10 percent year-on-year, while revenue from other Xbox services dropped three percent - the only recorded losses in Microsoft's quarterly report.
Last but not least, Microsoft's Search advertising business saw an increase of 9% in revenue.
In Q2 global personal computers sales increased by 1.5%.
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