Microsoft beats Wall Street expectations, posting $30.6B in revenue, powered by cloud division

Microsoft executives Brad Smith, Satya Nadella and Amy Hood. (GeekWire Photo / Nat Levy)

Microsoft rebounded from a rare revenue miss, sailing past Wall Street expectations for its third quarter, powered by the tech giant’s fast-growing cloud computing operations.

Revenue: Microsoft reported $30.6 billion in revenue, up 14 percent over a year ago, growing at a faster clip than analysts expected. Analysts surveyed in advance by Yahoo Finance expected the tech giant to post $29.84 billion in revenue, up 12 percent over the prior year.

Profit: Net income was $8.8 billion for the quarter — or $1.14 per share, ahead of analyst expectations of $1 per share — up 19 percent over a year ago.

“Leading organizations of every size in every industry trust the Microsoft cloud. We are accelerating our innovation across the cloud and edge so our customers can build the digital capability increasingly required to compete and grow,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement.

Microsoft stock is up 3 percent in after hours trading.

Microsoft splits the company into three main areas in its earnings reports. Here’s how each one did in the quarter ending in March:

The Surface division followed up a huge holiday season with 21 percent annual revenue growth in the most recent quarter, bringing it to $1.33 billion.

Microsoft unveiled versions of the most popular Surface tablets and computers as well as the surprising new Surface Headphones at an event in October. Reveal events in the fall, ahead of the holiday shopping season have become a trend among most big companies, and it appears to have paid off for Microsoft this time around.

Revenue from LinkedIn grew 27 percent over last year to $1.7 billion. Microsoft a couple quarters ago stopped reporting LinkedIn profits/losses as it continued to fold the business social network into its organization more than two years after completing the $26 billion acquisition.

Revenue growth has slowed in the last few quarters, going from percentages in the upper 30s to high 20s. Microsoft says it is seeing record levels of engagement on the platform.

The Gaming division that includes everything from Xbox hardware to Xbox Live subscriptions to revenue from games made by Microsoft as well as other studios, was $2.4 billion in the third quarter, up 5 percent over the year before.

The number of Xbox Live users jumped from 59 million a year ago to 63 million in the most recent quarter. Xbox software and services revenue increased 12 percent, offsetting what the company called “lower hardware revenue,” without disclosing specific figures.

Quarter highlights