Microsoft Corp. said Thursday its quarterly profit missed analysts' expectations and it would cut more than 5,000 jobs to reduce costs in the next year and a half.

The company said revenue was $16.63 billion, or $0.47 per share for the second quarter ended Dec. 31, an increase of 2 percent from the same period last year.

Microsoft's profit for the fiscal second quarter was $4.17 billion or 47 cents per share, below 49 cents forecasted by economists, according to a Reuters poll. In the same period a year earlier the firm had $4.71 billion in revenue.

While we are not immune to the effects of the economy, I am confident in the strength of our product portfolio and soundness of our approach, said Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer in a statement today.

The software giant announced it will eliminate up to 5,000 jobs over the next 18 months, including 1,400 jobs today to manage costs aiming to save about $1.5 billion annually.

Citing the volatility of market conditions, Microsoft said it is no longer able to offer quantitative revenue and EPS guidance for the balance of this fiscal year.

Shares of Microsoft Corp. fell 6.35 percent to $18.15 each in Thursday's Nasdaq trade by 9:40 a.m. EST.

Read the full text of Steve Ballmer's email to staff here.