Microsoft posts first loss of US$192m since going public – loss mars an otherwise strong Q4

20 Jul 2012

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer: 'We're fast approaching the most exciting launch season in Microsoft history'

After writing down a US$6.2bn charge on the value of its failed investment in online advertising firm aQuantive, Microsoft has posted its first loss of US$192m since becoming a public company in 1986. The loss mars an otherwise record quarter for the company with US$18bn worth of revenues.

Microsoft also deferred US$540m of revenue in relation to the Windows 8 upgrade offer.

The company delivered an operating profit of US$6.93bn on revenues of US$18.6bn.

For Microsoft’s fiscal year 2012, the company’s revenue, operating income, and earnings per share were US$73.72bn, US$21.76bn, and US$2 per share.

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The Server & Tools business revenue grew 13pc for the fourth quarter and 12pc for the full year. Enterprises are purchasing SQL Server and System Center to support their mission-critical workloads and build their business intelligence and private cloud infrastructure. Windows Server 2012 will be available this September.

The Microsoft Business Division revenue grew 7pc for the fourth quarter and 7pc for the full year reflecting continued momentum in Office 2010 sales. Office is now installed on more than 1bn PCs around the world.

The Windows & Windows Live Division revenue declined 13pc for the fourth quarter and 3pc for the full year. Adjusting for the impact of the Windows Upgrade Offer, Windows Division non-GAAP revenue declined 1pc for the fourth quarter and 1pc for the full year. Windows 7 adoption continued with more than 50pc of worldwide enterprise desktops now running Windows 7. The next version of Windows will release to manufacturing this August and will become generally available on 26 October, 2012.

The Online Services Division’s revenue grew 8pc for the fourth quarter and 10pc for the full year reflecting growth in the search business. Bing organic US search market share was 15.6pc for the month of June 2012, up 120 points from the prior-year period.

The Entertainment and Devices Division’s revenue grew 20pc for the fourth quarter and 8pc for the full year primarily reflecting the addition of Skype. Xbox has now been the top-selling console in the US for 18 consecutive months.

“We delivered record fourth-quarter and annual revenue, and we’re fast approaching the most exciting launch season in Microsoft history,” said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s CEO.

“Over the coming year, we’ll release the next versions of Windows, Office, Windows Server, Windows Phone, and many other products and services that will drive our business forward and provide unprecedented opportunity to our customers and partners,” Ballmer added.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years