The pandemic continues to be a boon for tech companies across the world, as Microsoft just found out. Following all of its familial Silocon Valley tech giants, Microsoft reported its earnings for Q4 FY2021 today, which, like Apple and Alphabet, exceeded all expectations. Microsoft reported revenue of $46.2 billion for the fourth quarter against expectations of $44.24 billion, along with the net income of $16.5 billion and earnings per share (EPS) of $2.17 against expectations of $1.92 per share.
Microsoft’s EPS grew by 48.6% year-over-year while its revenue from Azure Cloud, its cloud computing platform, registered a growth of 51% year-over-year (the best Azure growth result since Q3 2020) and 21% compared to the same quarter last year. Profits rose by 47% for the same. Microsoft shares fell after the news as much as 3%.
“Our results show that when we execute well and meet customers’ needs in differentiated ways in large and growing markets, we generate growth,” Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, said in a statement. Over the past year, Microsoft’s shares have provided a total return of 42.1%.
Azure is Microsoft’s flagship cloud computing platform offering tools and services for networking, storage, mobile and web application services, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet-of-Things (IoT), and other computing needs to developers, IT professionals, and enterprises. It is second only to Amazon’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) in terms of market share, and the rise in its revenue has been attributed to the growth of consumption-based services. The company said that it would provide guidance on its earnings conference call.
According to Microsoft, search advertising revenue grew by 53%. Intelligent Cloud grew by 30%, while Productivity and Business Processes (which contains Office productivity software along with LinkedIn and Dynamics), registered $14.69 billion in revenue, an increase of 21%, spearheaded by LinkedIn. Revenue from its commercial cloud services (including Azure and Office 365) grew by 36% in the quarter to $19.5 billion. The More Personal Computing segment registered $12.4 billion to $12.8 billion in revenue, a growth of 9%, led by search growth. LinkedIn grew by 46% and now generates $10 billion in annual revenue, while Windows OEM revenue and Surface revenue fell by 3% and 20% respectively.
According to Microsoft, 250 million people use Microsoft Teams, and the premium E5 tier accounts for 8% of all commercial Office 365 subscriptions.
Microsoft’s next earnings report is estimated to be released on October 25.