Microsoft Corp. (NYSE:MSFT) reported a 17 percent profit increase for its fiscal first quarter of 2014 on Thursday. Amid the company’s continued restructuring, its corporate software sector helped it see a significant profit increase, much to the surprise of both investors and analysts.
The Redmond, Wash., company reported a net income of $5.24 billion and earnings per share of $0.62 compared with a net loss of $4.47 million and $0.53 EPS in the year-earlier period. The company also reported revenue of $18.53 billion, compared with $16.01 billion in last year’s first quarter.
Microsoft's earnings greatly exceeded analysts' expectations of a flat report at $17.79 billion and $0.54 EPS. The profit is largely credited to strong sales of its business-oriented products, including its SQL Server database, Exchange email system and cloud services. The company’s commercial revenue notably rose 10 percent, to $11.2 billion on its own.
Microsoft hopes to increase interest in its Surface brand tablets, which saw improved sales amid price cuts in the last quarter, specifically the Surface RT. The company recently introduced its Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets, which are expected to be closely watched by investors in the coming quarter. In addition, Microsoft will soon launch its Xbox One gaming console, which has already sold out prior to release.
It appears confidence in Microsoft is improving as the company’s stock jumped 6 percent to $35.79 during after-hours trading, following the Microsoft conference call. It was at a similar level Friday morning.