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Microsoft blows away Q2 expectations on cloud and personal computing strength

Daniel Howley
·Technology Editor
·2-min read
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella delivers the keynote address at Build, the company's annual conference for software developers Monday, May 6, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella delivers the keynote address at Build, the company's annual conference for software developers Monday, May 6, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Microsoft (MSFT) reported its Q2 2021 earnings after the closing bell on Tuesday, easily beating expectations on the top and bottom lines, with the company specifically noting the strength of its cloud business as a catalyst.

These are the most important numbers from the report compared to what analysts were expecting of the company, as compiled by Bloomberg.

  • Revenue: $43.1 billion versus $40.2 billion expected

  • Earnings per share: $2.03 versus $1.64 expected

  • Intelligent Cloud: $14.68 versus $13.76 billion expected

  • More Personal Computing: $15.12 versus $13.55 billion expected

Microsoft’s stock was up 5% in after-market trading.

“What we have witnessed over the past year is the dawn of a second wave of digital transformation sweeping every company and every industry,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement.

“Building their own digital capability is the new currency driving every organization’s resilience and growth. Microsoft is powering this shift with the world’s largest and most comprehensive cloud platform.”

The growth of Microsoft’s cloud business continues to drive the company’s stock price, as organizations across the world look to the Redmond-based Windows maker for their connected infrastructure needs.

Microsoft is currently the second largest cloud provider behind only Amazon (AMZN) and its Amazon Web Services suite of cloud offerings. And according to Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, Microsoft’s growth in the sector is expected to continue unabated.

“This current work from home environment is further catalyzing more enterprises to make the strategic cloud shift with Microsoft across the board with Azure growth remaining brisk,” Ives wrote in a report ahead of Microsoft’s earnings announcement.

Adding fuel to the cloud fire, Microsoft recently announced that it was investing $2 billion to be the preferred cloud provider of the GM (GM) and Honda-backed (HMC) autonomous vehicle firm Cruise. In its role, Microsoft will provide cloud infrastructure for Cruise to better enable autonomous vehicles to navigate highways and surface streets in the future.

Microsoft’s consumer products also saw a boost on the back of continued sales of home laptops and desktops needed by workers who can’t head into the office, and children unable to attend school in person.

Microsoft’s gaming business fared well in first few weeks following the launch of the firm’s Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X. Xbox content and services revenue was up a whopping 40% in the quarter.

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