Microsoft Corp., which just announced the biggest job cuts in company history, reported profit that fell short of estimates in the fiscal fourth quarter, weighed down by the acquisition of Nokia Oyj’s handset business.
Net income in the period that ended June 30 was $4.61 billion, or 55 cents a share, on sales of $23.4 billion, Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft said in a statement today. Analysts were projecting profit of 60 cents and revenue of $23 billion, according to the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Excluding results from Nokia, profit would have been 63 cents a share, compared with an average prediction for 64 cents, based on estimates from seven analysts.
Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella, who took over in February, is struggling to make Microsoft’s smartphones and tablets more appealing for consumers, who are opting for products that are made by Apple Inc. or run Google Inc. software. The results underscore the challenges facing Nadella as he contends with a PC market that’s on track to shrink for a third straight year in 2014.
“In consumer you are still trying to build services and demand for products,” said Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Partners in New York, who recommends holding the shares.
Unearned revenue, which comes from sales of multiyear deals that will be recognized in the future, was $25.2 billion for the quarter, compared with the $24.5 billion average analyst projection, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Microsoft shares fell in extended trading following the report. They were little changed at $44.83 at the close in New York. The stock climbed 1.7 percent last quarter, compared with a 4.7 percent increase in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
In addition to a plan to cut 18,000 jobs as the company integrates Nokia’s handset unit, acquired in April, Nadella has discontinued unpromising products and placed more emphasis on cloud-computing software delivered via the Web. The restructuring will result in $1.1 billion to $1.6 billion in charges in the current fiscal year, according to Microsoft. The company didn’t say last week how much it expects to save from the firings.
Microsoft is also seeing signs of improvement in the PC market, which drives sales of Windows and Office software. PC shipments declined 1.7 percent in the second quarter, a smaller drop than estimated as businesses upgraded their equipment. Demand in the U.S., Europe and Canada also helped to make up for a drop in Asia, researcher IDC said earlier this month.
“The strength in the enterprise and the comments on the refresh would seem to bode well for Microsoft continuing to have uptake with enterprise sales,” said Michael Shinnick, a fund manager at South Bend, Indiana-based Wasatch Advisors Inc., which has $19 billion under management.
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