Microsoft cloud push powers ongoing growth

Microsoft’s ongoing growth as a provider of cloud computing services helped drive its fiscal second-quarter net income of $8.42 billion, an improvement after a loss in the same period a year earlier.

The Redmond, Washington-based company said Wednesday it had profit of $1.08 per share. Earnings, adjusted for pretax expenses, were $1.10 per share. Shares dipped almost 1.5 percent in after-hours trading.

Revenue from the company’s flagship Azure cloud computing platform grew 76 percent. But the company saw a 5 percent revenue hit in Windows software supplied to other PC manufacturers. It attributed the decline in part to a short supply of Intel chips late last year.

Microsoft’s results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.09 per share.

The software maker posted revenue of $32.47 billion in the period, which also topped Street forecasts. Twelve analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $32.45 billion.

Microsoft shares have risen slightly more than 4 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has risen almost 7 percent. In the final minutes of trading on Wednesday, shares hit $105.97, an increase of 14 percent in the last 12 months.

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