Microsoft tops $1 trillion as it predicts more cloud growth

Microsoft 3Q19 revenue up 14% on the back of strong cloud and, uh, Windows? ars_ab.settitle(1495761);

Microsoft's cloud business, which includes Azure and other cloud-based services, continued to be a money-making machine in its third quarter results.

Microsoft shares have gained 23 percent this year, topping the 17 percent increase in the S&P 500 Index.

The company's shares rose about 4% in extended trading on the results, after closing at $125.01 in NY.

Under chief executive Satya Nadella, the company has over the past five years been shifting from reliance on its once-dominant Windows operating system to selling cloud-based services. What really excited the stock market, however, was the 73 percent increase in revenues from Azure cloud services.

Profits in the quarter to March 31 rose 19 percent to $8.8 billion on revenues of $30.8 billion, an increase of 14 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Christopher Eberle, Nomura Instinet analyst, says Microsoft is an absolute buy right now, as the company continues to focus on and improve its customers' digital experiences.

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Net income rose to US$8.81 billion, or US$1.15 per share, from US$7.42 billion, or 96 United States cents per share, a year earlier. Microsoft also topped forecasts with $30.6 billion in revenue, a year-over-year increase of 14%. (NASDAQ: AAPL) as one of the only three USA companies to ever reach a market cap of $1 trillion.

More Personal Computing revenue was up 8 percent to $10.7 billion, with operating income up 25 percent to $3.2 billion.

Microsoft is battling Amazon for a multi-billion dollar contract to supply the US military with cloud computing services.

Starting the week trading at $121.05, Microsoft managed to surpass both companies briefly when it leaped to $125.76 on Tuesday, pushing the company past a $1 trillion market cap. Surface computers saw the biggest gains, up 21%, while search advertising revenue grew 12%.

"Computing experiences are evolving to include multiple senses and are no longer bound to one device at a time but increasingly spanning many as we move from home to work and on the go", Nadella told Forbes in an interview previous year. Server products and cloud services grew 27 percent.

Microsoft tops tech rivals such as Amazon in market capitalisation on some days despite having less revenue, partly because most of its sales are to businesses, which tend to be steadier clients than consumers. The gaming market is expected to decrease year-over-year, however, due to fierce competition from popular online games like Fortnite, Microsoft said on its earnings call.

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