John Paczkowski

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Microsoft Disappoints…Big Time

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Good thing Wall Street wasn’t expecting much from Microsoft. Because it didn’t get it.

After market close Thursday, the Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant reported that fiscal fourth-quarter net income fell to $3.05 billion, or 34 cents a share, from $4.3 billion, or 46 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue for the period ended in June fell 17 percent to $13.1 billion. Wall Street had been looking for earnings of 36 cents a share on $14.37 billion in revenue, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters.

Online advertising revenue decreased $86 million, or 14 percent, to $529 million, primarily reflecting a decline in display advertising.

The company missed estimates by $1 billion. Gruesome.

“Our business continued to be negatively impacted by weakness in the global PC and server markets,” CFO Chris Liddell said in a statement. “In light of that environment, it was an excellent achievement to deliver over $750 million of operational savings compared to the prior year quarter.”

Microsoft shares are trading down more than eight percent at $23.50, as I write this.

Below is the full earnings release. BoomTown’s Kara Swisher will be liveblogging the earnings call later this afternoon.

Microsoft Reports Fourth-Quarter Results

The company delivered operational efficiency and innovation in a difficult environment

REDMOND, Wash., July 23, 2009–Microsoft Corp. today announced revenue of $13.10 billion for the fourth quarter ended June 30, 2009, a 17% decline from the same period of the prior year. Operating income, net income and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $3.99 billion, $3.05 billion and $0.34 per share, which represented declines of 30%, 29% and 26%, respectively, when compared with the prior year period.

“Our business continued to be negatively impacted by weakness in the global PC and server markets,” said Chris Liddell, chief financial officer at Microsoft. “In light of that environment, it was an excellent achievement to deliver over $750 million of operational savings compared to the prior year quarter.”

The financial results for the fourth quarter ended June 30, 2009, included the deferral of $276 million of revenue related to the Windows 7 Upgrade Option program that was announced on June 25, 2009. This revenue deferral reduced earnings per share by $0.02.

The fourth-quarter financial results also included $193 million of legal charges, $108 million of impairments to investments and $40 million of additional severance charges related to the previously announced plan. Operating expenses were reduced by $105 million of capitalized research and development expenses due to the technical milestones reached for Windows 7. Combined, these items also reduced earnings per share by $0.02.

Significant product milestones were achieved in the quarter including the releases of Windows 7 release candidate, Windows Server 2008 R2 release candidate, as well as Bing, Microsoft’s search engine designed to help people make faster, more informed decisions.

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2009, Microsoft reported revenue of $58.44 billion, a 3% decline from the prior year. Operating income, net income and diluted earnings per share for the year were $20.36 billion, $14.57 billion and $1.62, which represented declines of 9%, 18% and 13% respectively.

“While economic conditions presented challenges this year, we maintained our focus on delivering customer satisfaction and providing solutions to our customers to save money,” said Kevin Turner, chief operating officer at Microsoft. “I am very excited by the wave of product and services innovations being delivered in this next fiscal year.”

Business Outlook

Microsoft is providing operating expense guidance of $26.6 billion to $26.9 billion, for the full year ending June 30, 2010.

Management will discuss fourth-quarter results and the company’s business outlook on a conference call and webcast at 2:30 p.m. PDT (5:30 p.m. EDT) today.


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