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Cloud Lifts Microsoft Stock to Record Height

Microsoft's stock price hit an all-time peak Thursday following an earnings report where cloud growth highlighted a strong quarter.

Revenue hit $22.3 billion for the quarter ended September 30, up 3% year-over-year, Microsoft said in its earnings announcement Thursday. Microsoft stock traded at $60.52 after hours Thursday, up 5.71%.

The company saw non-GAAP net income of $6 billion in the quarter, up 6% year-over-year, with diluted earnings per share of $0.76.

The company singled out cloud as a growth driver. "Our first-quarter results showed continued demand for our cloud-based services," Amy Hood, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Microsoft, said in a statement.

Revenue in Intelligent Cloud grew 8% to $6.4 billion, with server products and services revenue increasing 11%. Azure revenue grew 116%, with Azure compute usage more than doubling year-over-year. And Enterprise Services revenue increased 1%, the company said.

Office commercial products and cloud services revenue grew 5%, and Office 365 consumer subscribers increased to 24 million. Dynamics CRM products and cloud services revenue grew 11% driven by Dynamics online revenue growth, the company said.


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Microsoft is committed to hybrid computing, and sees its cloud and server business as part of a single fabric, CEO Satya Nadella said on the call. It considers on-premises servers to be "the edge of the cloud," he said.

The good news in the cloud was offset somewhat by bad news in the company's mainstay software business. The category Microsoft calls "More Personal Computing" declined 2% year-over-year to $9.3 billion, with Windows OEM revenue flat year-over-year -- but still slightly ahead of the overall PC market. Windows commercial products and cloud services revenue was also flat. Phone revenue declined 72%, and gaming revenue was down 5%.

Microsoft says it expects to close the acquisition of LinkedIn in the current quarter, despite Salesforce attempts to gum up the works by protesting to European regulators. (See Salesforce, Microsoft Spar Some More.)

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— Mitch Wagner, Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor, Light Reading Enterprise Cloud

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