Microsoft reported a greater-than-expected 30 percent increase in fiscal fourth-quarter profit, helped by sales of its Office software, but profit from its core Windows product fell on soft PC sales. Microsoft posted net profit of $5.87 billion, or 69 cents per share, compared with $4.52 billion, or 51 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. That easily beat Wall Street’s average estimate of 58 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
“These are great results given a slower PC environment and it highlights how the company has multiple revenue streams. The $17 billion unearned revenue, which is a forward indicator of business, shows they signed a lot of deals this quarter,” said BGC Financial analyst Colin Gillis.
AT&T posted better-than-expected subscriber growth for the second quarter, pushing its profits and sales past Wall Street estimates despite the loss of exclusive U.S. rights to sell the Apple iPhone.
Nokia’s outlook for its handset business to be profitable in the current quarter brought some relief to its battered share price but analysts doubted it would dispel fears about the future of the onetime cellphone leviathan. Nokia said it sold 16.7 million smartphones in the quarter, falling behind Apple’s 20.3 million iPhones. Its quarterly phone sales volume were down 20 percent from a year ago, missing analysts’ forecasts, at a time when the overall global market grew around 10 percent.
After a brief hiatus and an FBI takedown of several alleged “hacktivists,” two groups that claimed responsibility for a recent wave of cyber vandalism said they are back. A statement was posted online on Thursday jointly by the groups, Anonymous and Lulz Security, after U.S. authorities arrested 16 people earlier this week for several attacks, most prominently Anonymous’ attempt to cripple eBay’s PayPal site after it stopped accepting donations to the WikiLeaks organization.