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Microsoft rides Azure, cloud commercial revenue in strong Q4

Microsoft continues to fire on all cloud cylinders as it revs up Windows 11 for fiscal 2022.
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Written by Larry Dignan, Contributing Editor on

Microsoft's fourth quarter results blew away expectations as commercial cloud revenue grew 36% and the company saw strong growth in Office 365, LinkedIn and Dynamics.

The software and cloud giant reported fourth quarter revenue of $46.2 billion, up 21% from a year ago, with net income of $16.5 billion, or $2.17 a share.

Wall Street analysts were modeling Microsoft to report revenue of $44.24 billion with non-GAAP earnings of $1.92 a share.

CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement the company was innovating well and driving "tech intensity" for its customers. Commercial cloud revenue in the fourth quarter was $19.5 billion, up 36% from a year ago. Azure revenue was up 51% in the quarter. 

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For fiscal 2021, Microsoft spent $20.7 billion on research and development, up from $19.2 billion in fiscal 2020. 

A few recent Microsoft highlights: 

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By the Q4 numbers:

  • Revenue in Microsoft's productivity and business processes unit was up $14.7 billion, up 25%. Office Commercial products and cloud services revenue was up 20%.
  • Microsoft 365 Consumer subscribers ended the quarter at 51.9 million.
  • LinkedIn revenue was up 46% fueled by marketing solutions growth.
  • Intelligent cloud revenue was $17.4 billion, up 30%.
  • More personal computing revenue as $14.1 billion, up 9%.
  • Windows commercial products and cloud services revenue was up 20% in the fourth quarter. But Windows OEM revenue fell 3%.
  • Surface revenue fell 20% in the fourth quarter.
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For fiscal 2021, Microsoft reported net income of $61.3 billion, or $8.05 a share, on revenue of $168.1 billion, up 18% from fiscal 2020.

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