Microsoft sees digital reboot from pandemic, profits up

Agence France-Presse
Microsoft sees digital reboot from pandemic, profits up

AFP

'We've seen two years' worth of digital transformation in two months,' says Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella

WASHINGTON, USA – Microsoft said Wednesday, April 29, profits rose sharply in the just-ended quarter as it scrambled to keep its customers connected during the coronavirus lockdowns.

The US technology giant said the full impact of the pandemic was not reflected in its results for the fiscal third quarter to March 31.

But it said it was forced to adapt quickly as businesses and consumers moved into lockdown due to the global health emergency.

“We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months,” chief executive Satya Nadella said.

“From remote teamwork and learning, to sales and customer service, to critical cloud infrastructure and security – we are working alongside customers every day to help them adapt and stay open for business in a world of remote everything.”

Microsoft said profits in the quarter rose 22% from a year ago to $10.8 billion.

Shares rose 3% in after-hours trade in Microsoft, which is the most valuable tech firm with a market capitalization of more than $1.3 billion.

The update showed revenue rose 15% to $35 billion with “minimal net impact” from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Microsoft, which has shifted its focus in recent years from consumer to business services, said it saw gains in its Office commercial and cloud revenues of 13%.

Its “intelligent cloud” which includes its Azure platform for enterprise, saw a 27% jump in revenue to $12.3 billion.

Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy said Microsoft delivered a “solid” earnings report.

“The company is insulated right now more than others from big impacts from COVID-19,” Moorhead said, noting that it does not rely on “discretionary” consumer spending or advertising.

“In addition, Microsoft offers products and services that are helping organizations get through the crisis whether they are remote working or transforming businesses like retail, which is driving demand. 

“These are not discretionary business spends but required spend to weather the pandemic.”

Daniel Ives of Wedbush Securities said the results “bode well for the tech sector and specifically cloud names that are holding up well despite the Category 5 economic storm.” – Rappler.com

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