Microsoft hits $1 trillion market valuation

Microsoft (MSFT) 3rd Quarter Earnings: What to Expect

Microsoft beats earnings expectations, stock jumps

That compared to an analyst average estimate of $10-billion. These cloud products have become vital to Microsoft's business as the market for Windows PCs continues to shrink.

The US tech giant passed the mark briefly on Thursday, before its share price fell back. The companies and have taken turns in recent months to rank as the world's most valuable US-listed company.

Shares rose 3 percent after the bell, adding to the about 23 percent gain so far this year. Analysts were predicting cloud revenue of $9.30 billion. Office 365 Commercial saw revenues grow by 12 percent YOY while Office 365 Consumer revenue jumped by 8 percent. The company's Commercial Cloud business is one reason UBS analyst Jennifer Swanson Lowe, who has a $125 price target on the stock, remains optimistic on Microsoft heading into the quarter. Mike Spencer, Microsoft's head of investor relations, said the decline was roughly in line with the company's estimate.

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Azure growth is decelerating a bit. A growing proportion of Microsoft's software sales are billed as recurring subscription purchases, which are more reliable than one-time purchases. To hit $1 trillion, the share price needs to hit $130.038, which it flirted with last night and has already hit a couple of times this morning, although now it's trading at $130.18. It handily beat Wall Street estimates of $29.84 billion.

"Demand for our cloud offerings drove commercial cloud revenue to $9.6 billion this quarter, up 41 percent year-over-year", added Amy Hood, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Microsoft.

Microsoft sees its productivity and business processes unit, mostly Office software, reaching revenue of $10.6 billion to $10.8 billion in the fiscal fourth quarter, Hood said.

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Microsoft's latest results contained two weak spots. Overall gaming revenue was up 5 percent to $2.4 billion, with increased software and services revenue-up by 12 percent-more than offsetting a decrease in hardware revenue.

On Wednesday, Microsoft said profits in the quarter to March 31 rose 19 per cent to $8.8 billion on revenues of $30.8 billion, an increase of 14 per cent from the same period a year earlier.

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