Published on 27 Jul 2021 on Bloomberg via Yahoo Finance

Microsoft Tops Estimates; Azure Growth Trend Spooks Investors

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(Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. reported sales and profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates for a 10th straight quarter, sending shares higher after some investors were initially spooked by signs of slowing growth in the software giant’s Azure cloud-computing business.

Sales in the fourth quarter, which ended June 30, climbed 21% to $46.2 billion, the Redmond, Washington-based company said Tuesday in a statement. That compared with the $44.3 billion average estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg. Net income rose to $16.5 billion, or $2.17 a share, while analysts had predicted $1.92.

Microsoft’s market value now tops $2 trillion, and the high-flying shares have led investors to expect results to outdistance projections by a wide margin. After years of investments to make Azure a strong No. 2 in cloud services behind Inc., investors no longer question Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella’s corporate transformation, but some become skittish at any indication that momentum is fading. Microsoft’s sales and margin forecasts on a conference call reassured investors about its prospects, and shares gained 1.2% in extended trading after first dropping about 2.5% following the report.

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