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Microsoft December quarter results were better than expected

Vancouver, British Columbia – July 23, 2022: Microsoft logo on an office tower exterior in downtown Vancouver. Credit:jewhyte

Microsoft (MSFT) delivered strong results in cloud computing and enterprise applications. The Azure public cloud business, in particular, outperformed Wall Street growth forecasts, providing relief to investors concerned about the outlook for corporate IT spending.

Earnings per share: $2.32 adjusted, compared to $2.29 expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv. According to Refinitiv, revenue was $52.75 billion, up from $52.94 billion expected by analysts.

Revenue in Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud segment was $21.51 billion, up 18% and slightly higher than the $21.44 billion consensus among StreetAccount analysts polled. The Azure public cloud, Windows Server, SQL Server, Nuance, and Enterprise Services are all part of this unit.

Revenue from Azure and other cloud services, which Microsoft does not report in dollars, increased by 31%, slightly higher than the 31% average estimate of analysts polled by CNBC and StreetAccount.

The relatively stable outlook alleviated concerns that the lucrative cloud segment for big tech companies would be hit hard as customers cut spending, and cloud revenue in the fiscal second quarter reported on Tuesday more than compensated for some weakness in the PC unit.

“We can bring that technology in a variety of ways, either in specific offerings or to improve existing offerings,” said Brett Iversen, Microsoft’s head of investor relations, referring to OpenAI. He predicted that revenue from OpenAI-related businesses would eventually show up in revenue for Microsoft’s cloud service Azure.

During the earnings call, CEO Satya Nadella stated that it was too early to separate AI contributions from Azure cloud workloads.

Microsoft confirmed on Monday that it is investing “multibillions of dollars” in OpenAI, the company behind the popular new AI chatbot tool ChatGPT.

“We formed our partnership with OpenAI around a shared ambition to responsibly advance cutting-edge AI research and democratize AI as a new technology platform,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.

Microsoft will outperform in the current consumer environment. Microsoft will maintain a strong position regardless of the economy’s direction, making it a Strong Buy.

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