Microsoft beats the Street: Earns $5.2B in Q1, Surface sales now $400M

With Steve Ballmer taking his final laps as CEO, Microsoft turns in a quarter that surprises both on revenue and sales. Stock soars after hours.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Getty Images

Microsoft capped one of the more tumultuous quarters in its corporate history handily beating earnings and sales estimates for its 2014 fiscal first quarter.

With Wall Street looking for 54 cents per share, the company came in at 62 cents per share as Microsoft posted net income of $5.24 billion for the three-month period ended September 30. Ditto on the revenue side, with the company's $18.5 billion in sales besting the $17.8 billion consensus estimate.

In after hours trading, shares shot up more than 6 percent.

"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 CEO Steve Ballmer, in a statement Microsoft put out with its earnings. "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."

The earnings followed a quarter marked by Ballmer's surprise announcement that he planned to retire after more than a decade as Microsoft's chief executive officer. It also came against the backdrop of a major corporate reorganization meant to transform Microsoft into what officials envision as a "devices and services" company.

What's more, the quarter included the blockbuster news that Microsoft would pay slightly more than $7 billion to acquire Nokia's devices and services business. The latter was seen as a quick way to play catch-up to Samsung and Apple in the mobile business, an area in which Microsoft has lagged behind its competition. In a midyear report on smartphone market share, Comscore estimated that Microsoft had 3.1 percent of the market.

Outside of that, it was business as usual.

Microsoft will be holding a conference call with analysts shortly where it will break out its report in more detail. But it did note the following in its news release:

  • Devices and consumer revenue: up 4 percent to $7.46 billion.
  • Commercial revenue: Up 0 percent to $11.20 billion.
  • Search revenue: Up 47 percent.
  • Revenue from its Surface tablets grew to $400 million in the quarter.
 

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