Microsoft Misses, Shares Slide

Tickers in this article: MSFT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Microsoft shares slid more than 5% after market close on Thursday after the software giant's fourth-quarter results missed Wall Street's top and bottom line estimates.

The Redmond, Wash.-based firm reported revenue of $19.9 billion, up from $18.06 billion in the prior year's quarter, but well below the $20.73 billion by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

Excluding items, Microsoft earned 52 cents a share, down from 73 cents a share in the same period last year, and below Wall Street's forecast of 75 cents a share.

The company also lowered its operating expense guidance for fiscal year 2014 to $31.3 billion from $31.9 billion.

Investors were underwhelmed by Microsoft's numbers, pushing the company's shares down 5.76% to $33.40 after market close. Microsoft shares were off 0.84% to close at $35.44 during Thursday's trading session.

Microsoft acknowledged the impact of a weak PC market, but pointed to strength in other areas.

"While our fourth quarter results were impacted by the decline in the PC market, we continue to see strong demand for our enterprise and cloud offerings, resulting in a record unearned revenue balance this quarter," said Microsoft CFO Amy Hood, in a statement released after market close. "We also saw increasing consumer demand for services like Office 365, Outlook.com, Skype, and Xbox LIVE."

Revenue from Microsoft's Business Division, which sells Office 365, grew 14% for the fourth quarter while its Entertainment and Devices Division, which sells Xbox LIVE, grew 8%.

Sales from Microsoft's Server and Tools business grew 9% over the same period, while Windows Division revenue grew 6% for the quarter. Excluding the impact of a revenue deferral related to the prior year's Windows Upgrade Offer, Windows Division non-GAAP revenue decreased 6%.

Revenue from Microsoft's Online Services Division was up 9%.

Microsoft's results come hot on the heels of its recently announced corporate restructuring, which aims to sharpen the company's focus on services and devices.

"While we have work ahead of us, we are making the focused investments needed to deliver on long-term growth opportunities like cloud services," said Hood, in the company's statement.

-- Written by James Rogers in New York.

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