Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) reported fiscal first-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ expectations on Thursday, as the software giant posted earnings of $5.24 billion, or 62 cents a share, on revenue of $18.53 billion. Reuters

Wall Street closed near session highs on Thursday, as investors weighed stronger-than-expected corporate earnings from Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) and others.

After the bell, Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) reported fiscal first-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ expectations, as the software giant posted earnings of $5.24 billion, or 62 cents a share, on revenue of $18.53 billion. Wall Street had expected earnings excluding items of 54 cents a share on $17.79 billion in revenue, according to analysts polled by Reuters.

During the same period a year earlier, Microsoft posted net income of $4.47 billion, or 53 cents a share, on revenue of $16.01 billion.

“Our devices and services transformation is progressing and we are launching a wide range of compelling products and experiences this fall for both business and consumers,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in the company’s 2014 fiscal first-quarter earnings statement. “Our new commercial services will help us continue to outgrow the enterprise market, and we are seeing lots of consumer excitement for Xbox One, Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, and the full spectrum of Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone devices.”

On Thursday, shares of Microsoft jumped 5.28 percent to $35.50 in after-hours trading.

Also after the bell,, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) reported fiscal third-quarter earnings that topped Wall Street estimates after the Internet retailer issued a loss of 9 cents a share on revenue of $17.09 billion, compared with analysts’ expectations for a quarterly loss of 9 cents a share on $16.77 billion in revenue, according to Reuters.

Amazon reported a net loss of $274 million, or 60 cents per share, on revenue of $13.8 billion during the same period in 2012.

“It’s been a busy few months -- we launched a new Paperwhite and new Kindle Fires to positive reviews and surprised people with the revolutionary Mayday button -- average Mayday response times are just 11 seconds!” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of “And that’s not all. In the last 90 days, our AWS team got back to work on a big government contract, we brought 8 million square feet of fulfillment center capacity online, deployed 1,382 Kiva robots in three FCs, provided a new venue for artists to reach customers, signed up millions of new Prime members, announced Kindle MatchBook, Login & Pay, and nine new original TV pilots, joined the coalition, acquired TenMarks -- a company that helps kids with math, scored a win for customers who want to use Kindles on airplanes even during takeoff and landing (also, a big hat tip to Nick Bilton on that one), began hiring and training 70,000 new U.S. FC employees to help serve customers this holiday season, and saw the Kindle Million Club grow to include 14 KDP authors.”

The Internet giant now expects net sales for the current fourth quarter to be between $23.5 billion and $26.5 billion, or to grow between 10 percent and 25 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2012.

Amazon shares soared 8.07 percent to $359.02 in extended-hours trading.

Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) shares skyrocketed over 15 percent in after-hours trading on Thursday after the gaming company reported a third-quarter loss of 2 cents per share on revenue of $152 million. The social video game maker said the loss narrowed to $68,000 from $52.7 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts’ had expected the company to issue earnings of 4 cents a share on revenue of $143 million.

"I am pleased with our Q3 performance which exceeded our guidance both in terms of bookings and adjusted EBITDA. We are encouraged to see sightlines to growth and expect to be profitable for the full year on an adjusted EBITDA basis," said Don Mattrick, chief executive officer at Zynga.

Zynga projects a fourth-quarter EPS loss in the range of 4 cents to 3 cents on revenue in the range of $175 million to $185 million. The company also announced ahead of its earnings report on Thursday that it has hired Former Ngmoco CEO Clive Downie to join Zynga as chief operating officer on Nov. 4.

"Our teams are working hard to compete more aggressively on the web, move to mobile and develop new hits, and I am happy with the early progress we have made,” Mattrick said. “We believe our top franchises, Zynga Poker, FarmVille and Words With Friends can be evergreen in terms of consumer interest and we are focused on growing these franchises in fiscal year 2014. I am confident that Zynga is rewiring itself in a meaningful way that will strengthen the core of our business and put us back on track to achieve significant long term growth and profits."

Shares of Zynga skyrocketed 12.99 percent to $4.00 in after-hours trading.

Ahead on the earnings calendar on Friday, notable companies reporting quarterly earnings include The Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE:PG) and United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE: UPS).

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 95.88 points, or 0.62 percent, to close at 15,509.21. The S&P 500 Index was up 5.69 points, or 0.33 percent, to end at 1,752.07. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 21.89 points, or 0.56 percent, to finish at 3,928.96.