Microsoft reported third-quarter financial results Thursday that surpassed analyst expectations, once again reporting strong growth in its cloud products. Microsoft's own revenue forecast had been $25.25 billion to $25.95 billion. The CEO added that Microsoft returned United States dollars 6.3 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends and share buybacks in Q3, an increase of 37 percent from the year before.
Referring to the company's investments in AI and cloud, Satya Nadella, Microsoft's CEO, said Microsoft has "made the right investments and they're having an impact, increasing our overall share in an expanding market".
Microsoft shares, which are up nearly 40 percent over the past year, rose slightly after closing 2.1 percent higher at $94.26.
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Even Surface seemed to do well, with revenues up 32 per cent.
The company's Intelligent Cloud unit, which includes server and Azure cloud infrastructure services, saw sales rise 17% to $7.9 billion.
Capital expenditures were $3.5 billion in the quarter.
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"Our recent data center expansion, including the United Arab Emirates and Switzerland, brings our total number of regions to 50, more than any other cloud provider".
The cloud transition is changing the company's business model to one with a rising share of steady, recurring revenue from cloud subscriptions rather than traditional software sales.
Total revenue in the company's More Personal Computing division, which includes the Windows operating system, rose to $9.92 billion, beating the $9.26 billion average prediction of three analysts polled by Bloomberg.
US Dollar Jumps as Government Bond Yields Rise
The U.S. dollar continued its eight-day rally, rising to 91.637, its highest since January 12, against a basket of six currencies. Against the yen, the dollar set a 2-1/2-month high of 109.46 yen but later eased to 109.32 yen.
Microsoft has said in their press release "Gaming revenue increased 18 percent driven by Xbox software and services revenue growth of 24 percent mainly from third party title strength". Office commercial products and cloud services revenue was up 14 percent, while Office consumer products and cloud services revenue rose by 12 percent.
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