Microsoft reports impressive fiscal first quarter

Microsoft reported a quarter that harkened back to its glory days.On Thursday, Microsoft reported first quarter earnings of $4.

Microsoft reported a quarter that harkened back to its glory days.

On Thursday, Microsoft reported first quarter earnings of $4.29 billion, or 45 cents a share, on revenue of $13.76 billion. That sum easily beat Wall Street estimates of 39 cents a share on revenue of $12.57 billion, according to Thomson Financial.

Revenue was up 27 percent from a year ago--Microsoft's best growth since 1999. Microsoft got a nice bump from Vista, Office and Halo.

As for the outlook, Microsoft also impressed Wall Street. The company projected revenue between $15.6 billion to $16.1 billion and earnings between 44 cents a share and 46 cents a share. Wall Street was expecting earnings of 44 cents a share on revenue of $15.6 billion. For the fiscal year ending June 30, Microsoft projected earnings of $1.78 a share to $1.81 a share on revenue between $58.8 billion to $59.7 billion. Wall Street was projecting earnings of $1.73 on revenue of $57.4 billion.

The guidance includes the recently closed acquisition of aQuantive.

By the numbers:

  • Microsoft had cash and short term investments of $21.6 billion;
  • The business division (Office) reported operating income of $2.69 billion and revenue of $4.11 billion;
  • The client division (Vista) reported operating income of $3.36 billion on revenue of $4.14 billion;
  • Microsoft's server and tools unit had operating income of $962 million on revenue of $2.9 billion;
  • The entertainment and devices division turned a profit. Operating income was $165 million on revenue of $1.93 billion. You can chalk that result up to Halo 3;
  • However, Microsoft's online services unit lost $264 million on revenue of $671 million.

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