Microsoft just released its earnings for the company’s first financial quarter of 2013. Microsoft posted revenues of $16.01 billion and earnings per share of $0.53. That’s down from the company’s Q4 2012 results of $18.06 billion but up from last quarter’s loss per share of $0.06.
It’s worth noting that Microsoft’s results in the last quarter were also highly influenced by the company’s ill-fated aQuantive acquisition. To account for this, Microsoft took a $6.19 billion writedown last quarter.
Ahead of the earnings release, the analyst consensus was the Microsoft would report revenues of about $16.42 billion and earnings per share around $0.56. Sales growth, most analysts expected, would be negative (around -5.50%), as many consumers and businesses held off from major investments ahead of the upcoming Windows 8 launch.
“The launch of Windows 8 is the beginning of a new era at Microsoft,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft, in a canned statement today. “Investments we’ve made over a number of years are now coming together to create a future of exceptional devices and services, with tremendous opportunity for our customers, developers, and partners.”
Some additional highlights from the release:
- The Online Services Division reported revenue of $697 million, a 9% increase from the prior year period. Online advertising revenue grew 15% driven primarily by an increase in revenue per search.
- The Windows & Windows Live Division posted revenue of $3.24 billion, a 33% decrease from the prior year period. Adjusting for the impact of the Windows Upgrade Offer and pre-sales of Windows 8 to OEMs prior to general availability, Windows division non-GAAP revenue declined 9% for the first quarter. Windows 8 will become generally available October 26, 2012.
- The Microsoft Business Division posted $5.50 billion in first-quarter revenue, a 2% decrease from the prior year period.
So far this year, Microsoft’s stock is up about 13%. but the next quarter will obviously be far more interesting for Microsoft, as the company was clearly in between release cycles in the last quarter. With Windows 8 and Windows 8 Phone, as well as its Surface tablets and other upcoming releases, Microsoft is putting a lot of bets on the table at the same time and it remains to be seen if these gambles will pay off.