Microsoft 2Q Earnings Exceed Estimates But Fall From '11

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Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT), the No. 1 software company, reported second-quarter results that beat estimates by a penny but still fell from a year earlier due to the slump in PCs.

The Redmond, Wash., company said net income was $6.38 billion, or 76 cents per share, down from the prior-year’s $6.6 billion, or 78 cents, as revenue rose slightly to $21.45 billion.

Still, Microsoft’s performance topped the estimates by 38 analysts of net income of $6.33 billion, or 75 cents per share.

Shares of Microsoft fell about 2 percent after the results were announced. Earlier, they closed at $27.63, up 2 cents. Over the past year, they’ve fallen 3 percent, including with dividends.

CEO Steve Ballmer said launch of Windows 8 last quarter “has sparked growing enthusiasm with our customers” with about 60 million licenses for the new OS sold.

The company also reported its cash and investment pile rose to $68.3 billion as of Dec. 21, up $5 billion in six months. Wall Street analysts have said the company may invest as much as $2 billion in a leveraged buyout of Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), the No. 3 PC maker.

CFO Peter Klein and other executives plan to speak with investors later Thursday, when they may comment on the Dell deal.

As well, they may discuss how many Surface tablets were shipped during their first quarter.

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