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Microsoft profit climbs as cloud grows

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Microsoft on Thursday said its revenue and profit climbed in the recently ended quarter, getting results from its bets on cloud computing services and artificial intelligence.

[SAN FRANCISCO] Microsoft on Thursday said its revenue and profit climbed in the recently ended quarter, getting results from its bets on cloud computing services and artificial intelligence.

The US tech giant reported its net income increased 10 per cent to US$8.8 billion on revenue that was up 17 per cent to US$30.1 billion when compared with the same period last year.

Microsoft saw revenue gains across its full range of businesses including business services, gaming, internet search ads, its consumer software including Windows and Office and LinkedIn, the recently acquired professional social network.

Shares edged up 0.6 per cent in after-hours trade following the results for the final fiscal year quarter for the Microsoft.

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"We had an incredible year," chief executive Satya Nadella said in a release.

"Our early investments in the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge are paying off, and we will continue to expand our reach in large and growing markets with differentiated innovation."

Revenue in a productivity and business processes category that included career-focused social network LinkedIn was up 13 per cent in the quarter to US$9.7 billion, according to Microsoft.

LinkedIn revenue increased 37 per cent as usage soared, the earnings release indicated.

Microsoft bought LinkedIn two years ago in a deal valued at US$26.2 billion.

Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry described Microsoft earnings, and its financial path as "super solid," noting that revenue and earnings per share beat market expectations.

Microsoft reported net income of US$16.6 billion for the fiscal year on revenue that rose 14 per cent to US$110.4 billion.

Analyst Patrick Moorhead at Moor Insights & Strategy said Microsoft's results showed healthy growth.

"The company drove double-digit revenue growth in every business which demonstrates to me the firm's balance," Moorhead said. "Satya Nadella and team are hitting on all cylinders at this point."

In one major deal announced this week, Microsoft and Walmart unveiled a strategic partnership to help the retail giant ramp up its efforts against Amazon.

Microsoft has announced technology partnerships with other major firms in recent months including General Electric, Starbucks, Bayer, Telefonica and sports organizations such as the NBA and PGA.

The moves into business services and cloud computing has reduced Microsoft's dependence on Windows, the dominant software for personal computers that has been overtaken in the consumer market by mobile devices powered by Google or Apple software.

AFP

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