Microsoft earnings: 98 cents a share vs 71 cents EPS expected – CNBC

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Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp

Microsoft will release its earnings results for the fourth quarter of its 2017 fiscal year, which ended on June 30, after markets close on Thursday.

The company’s call with financial analysts begins at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time.

  • EPS: Excluding certain items, analysts expect 71 cents in earnings per share, according to Thomson Reuters.
  • Revenue: Analysts are looking for $24.27 billion in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters.

In the cloud business that Microsoft is so focused on these days, Alphabet with its G Suite and Google Cloud Platform, represents competition. Amazon is also a significant player with its market-leading Amazon Web Services public cloud.

In its earnings statements Microsoft doesn’t provide exact revenue for Azure, but the company does talk about Azure under the commercial cloud heading. Microsoft’s commercial cloud “strength should continue as unit and pricing trends remain positive,” Stifel analysts Brad Reback and Adam Borg noted earlier this week, providing an estimate of an $18 billion annualized revenue run rate. That estimation would imply the figure has more than doubled in the past two years.

In the quarter, Microsoft held its annual Build developer conference, where it announced a smart video editing app, as well as a Cortana Skills Kit that’s comparable to the Alexa Skills Kit that Amazon offers to assist development of apps for its Echo smart speaker. Also, Microsoft cut the prices of its L-Series of Azure virtual machine instances.

Microsoft stock increased more than 18 percent since the beginning of the year. Earlier this month, the company said it would lay off thousands of employees, primarily in sales, in an effort to boost its cloud business as it begins its 2018 fiscal year.

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