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Microsoft Goes Past $1 Trillion Market Value Following Strong Q3 Earnings

Microsoft Goes Past $1 Trillion Market Value Following Strong Q3 Earnings
The market valuation of Microsoft went past Apple Inc's $980 billion market capitalisation following a rise of 4.4 per cent in its shares to $130.54 in late trading after the company announced good forecast on a conference call with investors.
On Wednesday, Microsoft executives predicted more growth for its cloud computing business which caught the fancy of investors and sending the company’s market value over $1 trillion for a short period.
Driven by an unexpected in Windows revenue and fast growth in the cloud business which now account for tens of billions of dollars in sales, the estimates of the Wall Street in terms of profits and revenue were beaten by the Redmond, Washington-based company.
The $1 trillion mark in market value has been also crossed by Inc and all the three tech companies have at one point in time been identified as world's most valuable US-listed company.
So far this year, there has been a 23 per cent surge in Microsoft shares and touched a record high of $125.85 during regular trading hours.
The cloud-based services business has been the focus of Microsoft – shifting away from its traditional reliance on its once-dominant Windows operating system, in the last five years led by the strategies of Chief Executive Satya Nadella.
The company’s flagship cloud product Azure is in direct competition with the Amazon Web Services (AWS) from market leader
In the business divisions in charge of Azure and Office 365, an online version of its longtime productivity software, Microsoft expects to see growth in the fiscal fourth quarter, said Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood to investors.
Compared to the growth rate of 67 per cent in the second quarter, there was a slight slowdown in Azure's growth to 73 per cent for the third quarter ended March 31. This reduction in growth was almost similar to the estimates of the company, said Mike Spencer, Microsoft's head of investor relations.
With Azure, "one should assume a slower rate of growth as we move forward, simply due to the law of large numbers." Still, Azure will bring in $13.5 billion in sales in fiscal 2019 with an overall growth rate of 75 per cent, he estimated. "I can't name another company of that scale growing at these rates," said Christopher Eberle, a senior equity analyst with Nomura.
According to IBES data from Refinitiv, Microsoft' reported earnings per share of $1.14,  beating analysts’ expectations of $1.
There was a 9 per cent year on year growth in the revenues from Windows licensing to computer makers which was also higher than market expectations, which were low because the business reported a 5 per cent decline in the previous quarter.
According to IBES data from Refinitiv, the estimates of Wall Street for revenues generated by the so-called "intelligent cloud" unit, which contains its Azure services, of Microsoft was also beaten by the company at $9.65 billion, against estimates of $9.28 billion. In the fiscal fourth quarter, that unit could reach $11.05 billion in revenue, Microsoft's Hood said

Christopher J. Mitchell

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