Microsoft plowed through analysts’ expectations Tuesday as the company reported more than $43.1 billion in revenue -- up 17% -- and $15.5 billion in profit -- up 33% -- in Q4 2020. The first time the company reached those numbers.
Analysts, overall, expected Microsoft to report fourth-quarter calendar earnings of $1.64 a share on revenue of $40.23 billion.
“What we have witnessed over the past year is the dawn of a second wave of digital transformation sweeping every company and every industry,” stated Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft. “Building their own digital capability is the new currency driving every organization’s resilience and growth. Microsoft is powering this shift with the world’s largest and most comprehensive cloud platform.”
The cloud business pushed the company over the top, as companies looked for reliable services like Microsoft Teams to keep employees connected while working from home. Azure, Microsoft’s cloud-computing platform, grew 50%. Demand Surface rose 3%, Xbox content and services increased 40%, and LinkedIn services rose 23%.
Products in its “more personal computing” segment grew to $15.12 billion from $13.21 billion in the year-ago quarter. Search advertising, which sits in this segment, saw revenue climb a mere 2%, excluding traffic acquisition costs.
Microsoft’s “productivity and business services” division, which includes cloud software assets such as its Office suite as well as LinkedIn and other properties, reported revenue of $13.35 billion, up from $11.83 billion a year ago. Analysts on average expected sales of $12.89 billion.