Microsoft has announced its earnings for the third quarter of its fiscal year this afternoon, and it's reporting some record numbers that beat expectations: a six percent increase year-over-year to $17.41 billion in revenue and a 12 percent increase to $6.37 billion in operating income. Breaking things down by division, that includes $4.57 billion in revenue from Server & Tools, $5.81 billion from the Business Division (which includes Office), $4.62 billion from Windows and Windows Live, and $707 million from Online Services -- all increases from between four to 14 percent. The one division seeing a big drop is Entertainment & Devices, which dipped a hefty 16 percent year-over-year to $1.62 billion in revenue -- something Microsoft blames on a "soft gaming console market," though it is happy to note that the Xbox 360 remains the top console in the US for the 15th consecutive month. Notably absent is any mention of Windows Phone, though perhaps we'll hear more about it on the company's earnings call in just under an hour.

Update: Microsoft didn't exactly have a ton of new info to share on the Windows Phone front on its earnings call, noting only that it remains pleased with its Nokia partnership and the launch of the Lumia 900 on AT&T, and that it is "working to bring Windows Phone to more people."

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Microsoft Reports Record Third-Quarter Revenue
Strong business demand drives double-digit operating income growth.


REDMOND, Wash. - Apr. 19, 2012 - Microsoft Corp. today announced quarterly revenue of $17.41 billion for the quarter ended Mar. 31, 2012, a 6% increase from the prior year period. Operating income was $6.37 billion, up 12% from the prior year period.

Net income and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $5.11 billion and $0.60 per share, compared with $5.23 billion and $0.61 per share, respectively, in the prior year period. Prior year net income and diluted earnings per share included a $461 million or $0.05 per share tax benefit primarily related to a tax settlement with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

"We're driving toward exciting launches across the entire company, while delivering strong financial results," said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft. "With the upcoming release of new Windows 8 PCs and tablets, the next version of Office, and a wide array of products and services for the enterprise and consumers, we will be delivering exceptional value to all our customers in the year ahead."

The Server & Tools business posted $4.57 billion in third-quarter revenue, a 14% increase from the prior year period, driven by double-digit revenue growth in SQL Server and more than 20% growth in System Center revenue.

The Microsoft Business Division reported $5.81 billion in third-quarter revenue, a 9% increase from the prior year period, reflecting the continued strength of Office 2010 with businesses and consumers. Dynamics posted an 11% revenue increase from the prior year period, with Dynamics CRM revenue growing more than 30%.

The Windows and Windows Live Division posted revenue of $4.62 billion, a 4% increase from the prior year period. Strong Windows 7 adoption continued with enterprise desktops on Windows 7 now up to 40% worldwide.

"We saw strong demand for our business desktop and infrastructure offerings," said Peter Klein, chief financial officer at Microsoft. "Solid revenue growth and continued cost discipline drove double-digit operating income growth."

The Online Services Division reported revenue of $707 million, a 6% increase from the prior year period, and operating loss improvement of approximately $300 million.

The Entertainment & Devices Division posted revenue of $1.62 billion, a decrease of 16% from the prior period due to a soft gaming console market. Xbox remained the top-selling console in the U.S. for the 15th consecutive month, and the company announced new television content partners and experiences for its 40 million Xbox LIVE members.

"We continue to execute well across our businesses, and we are seeing robust demand for our enterprise products and services," said Kevin Turner, chief operating officer at Microsoft. "Our investments and offerings in the database platform and public, private, and hybrid cloud are helping our customers transform their operations to meet today's evolving business demands."

Business Outlook

Microsoft is revising operating expense guidance downward and now offers a range of $28.3 billion to $28.7 billion for the full year ending June 30, 2012. Microsoft also offers preliminary fiscal year 2013 operating expense guidance of $30.3 billion to $30.9 billion, representing 6% to 8% growth from the mid-point of fiscal year 2012 guidance.

Webcast Details

Peter Klein, chief financial officer, Frank Brod, chief accounting officer, and Bill Koefoed, general manager of Investor Relations, will host a conference call and webcast at 2:30 p.m. PDT (5:30 p.m. EDT) today to discuss details of the company's performance for the quarter and certain forward-looking information. The session may be accessed at http://www.microsoft.com/investor. The webcast will be available for replay through the close of business on Apr. 19, 2013.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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Microsoft announces Q3 2012 earnings: $17.41 billion in revenue, $6.37 billion income