Microsoft Reveals Year-On-Year Profit Dip

RELATED QUOTES

SymbolPriceChange
MSFT40.40+0.65
AAPL519.01+1.05
BARC.L237.55+4.40
GOOG556.54+20.10

Windows 8 has helped Microsoft (NasdaqGS: MSFT - news) to post record revenues in the past quarter, but its profits are down slightly from the same period a year ago.

Profits dipped 3.7% from 12 months ago to $6.38bn (£4.04bn), which was better than many had forecast.

Revenues rose 2.7% to $21.46bn (£13.59), a record for the US tech giant.

Microsoft said the boost in revenues came from pre-sales and upgrades of Windows 8, and gains in business software and other segments.

The second fiscal quarter statement, however, did not offer specific sales data for the Surface tablet - launched late last year by Microsoft - or its new Windows Phone 8 system.

"Our big, bold ambition to re-imagine Windows as well as launch Surface and Windows Phone 8 has sparked growing enthusiasm with our customers and unprecedented opportunity and creativity with our partners and developers," said Steve Ballmer, chief executive.

"With new Windows devices, including Surface Pro, and the new Office on the horizon, we'll continue to drive excitement for the Windows ecosystem and deliver our software through devices and services people love and businesses need."

The profit amounted to 76 cents (48 pence) per share - one cent better than the Wall Street consensus.

Microsoft shares traded down 1.4% in after-hours exchanges.

Citi analyst Walter Pritchard said Microsoft was on target.

"This was the first time in memory we haven't seen disappointment in the Windows line," he said.

Raimo Lenschow at Barclays (LSE: BARC.L - news) said the results were "essentially in line with investors' low expectations."

The analyst said Microsoft shares would "pull back only modestly" and that investors will be "looking for further detail on what management expects for Windows 8 moving forward" and sales figures for the Surface.

Windows remains the dominant platform for personal computers, but Microsoft has lost ground to Google (NasdaqGS: GOOG - news) and Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news) in newer devices which use rival operating systems.

The company's search and online services have struggled, but its Xbox is the hottest gaming system in the industry.