(Reuters) – Microsoft Corp announced on Tuesday that its Azure cloud computing services had increased by 50%, the second quarter of acceleration for a business that had started to slow down as the global pandemic benefited the software maker’s investment in work and home learning

The company's shares rose by 5% in extended trading after earning approximately 41% in 2020 as COVID-19 moved IT to areas where the software maker bet big It also saw a surprise upturn in sales on professional social network LinkedIn and went through a chip shortage that threatened to drag its Xbox business.

The shift to working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift of businesses to cloud computing, for the benefit of Microsoft and rivals such as Amazon The cloud unit of com Inc. et Google Cloud d’Alphabet Inc.

During a conference call with investors, Microsoft executives said they expected a midpoint of 14 $83 billion segment revenue «Intelligent Cloud» of the company for the third fiscal quarter, against 14 USD to Wall Street12 billion, based on Refinitiv data For the business productivity segment and its personal computing segment, sales should have a respective midpoint of 13 $48 billion and 12 $50 billion, against estimates of 12 $90 billion and 11 $60 billion, according to Refinitiv data

Microsoft has stated that GamePass, the monthly game subscription of 10 $ of the society, counted 18 million users, against 15 million disclosed in September Xbox Live online gaming service has more than 100 million monthly active users Microsoft has not provided an update on 115 million daily Teams users he disclosed in October, but said the mobile version is used by 60 million daily users.

Microsoft said revenue from its segment «Intelligent Cloud» had increased by 23% at 14 $6 billion, with a growth of 50% in Azure Analysts expected a growth of 4% in Azure, according to consensus data from Visible Alpha Previous quarter Azure grew by 48%

“This was really driven by continued customer demand, with higher consumption than expected, customers focusing more on digital transformation”, Microsoft's chief financial officer told Reuters, Amy Hood, in an interview.

Atlantic Equities analyst, James Cordwell, said that last year, «economic weakness and implementation delays had masked the extent to which Azure was benefiting from the accelerated move to cloud caused by the pandemic. But with these results, this advantage is now evident”

LinkedIn revenue growth, which fell as the pandemic closed businesses, has reached 23%, close to its pre-pandemic rate 24% a year earlier Hood said ads on LinkedIn had led to the increase

Microsoft aggregates several sets of software and services such as Office and Azure into a metric «cloud commercial» that investors watch closely to assess the company's progress in selling to large companies

The gross margins of the commercial cloud – a measure of the profitability of its sales to large companies – were from 71% during the quarter, against 67% one year earlier

Income from his personal IT division, which includes Windows software and Xbox game consoles, increased 14% at 15 $1 billion, thanks to strong growth in Xbox content and services, exceeding analysts' estimates of 13 USD5 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv

In November, Microsoft launched two new Xbox consoles, its most visible non-professional and non-academic brand, but hardware has proven difficult to find as a global semiconductor shortage has helped to squeeze stocks as many retailers have Xbox hardware sales have increased by 86% despite the shortages, and Hood said growth is expected to continue, older models also contributing to sales

“Demand always exceeds supply, and we expect this to continue”, Hood said. «The team did a good job securing consoles, both of this new generation, as well as continue to sell the older generation, which offers excellent value for money to gamers.”

Microsoft's gaming business for the first time exceeded 5 billion in quarterly sales and were propelled by subscriptions and game sales as well as new consoles Microsoft said revenue from Xbox content and services increased by 40% during the quarter

The software giant’s global turnover rose to 43 $08 billion in the second quarter ended in December 31, from 36 $91 billion a year ago, exceeding analysts' estimates of 40 $ 18 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv

Report by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Lisa Shumaker

At least all quotes have been delayed 15 minutes See here for a full list of exchanges and delays

Microsoft Corporation, Cloud computing, Earnings, Microsoft Azure, Xbox

News – United States – Microsoft Profits Rise As Pandemic Boosts Cloud Computing, Xbox Sales
Associated title :
– Income from Microsoft Profits Rise As Pandemic Boosts Computing Cloud, Xbox sales
Microsoft's second quarter Azure revenue & up from 50%, commercial cloud execution rate at 66 $8 billion; forecasts exceed consensus
Microsoft Earnings Jump on Pandemic-Driven Cloud, Videogame Demand
– The strength of Microsoft's strength& in the cloud increases profits, actions increase
Xbox, Surface and the cloud boost Microsoft's revenue again & in the second quarter
Le cloud computing, software and Xbox drive Microsoft profits up by 33% in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic
Microsoft Reports Record Revenue as Pandemic Continues to Fuel Sales
Microsoft reaches 40 billion dollars in quarterly sales for the first time, brings in record income
Xbox sales boom as virus maintains grip on economy
Microsoft's profits soar 33% as the pandemic continues to shift to cloud computing

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-microsoft-results/microsoft-earnings-rise-as-pandemic-boosts-cloud-computing-xbox-sales-idUSKBN29V2IN

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