Microsoft posts Q3 2013 earnings, generates $606 billion in profit as its CFO steps down

Microsoft's fiscal third quarter earnings (the calendar's first) can reflect the post-holiday lull, and there's a certain truth to that for Q3 2013: the company is reporting $20.49 billion in revenue, lower than what it saw during the holidays, and an equally soft $6.06 billion in profit that dipped below both the previous quarter and the same period last year. That said, any potential slowdown in PC sales isn't clearly manifested here. Possibly owing to the afterglow of the Windows 8 launch, the Windows Division's revenue of $5.7 billion is a sharp increase from the $4.62 billion of a year ago, and it's dampened mostly by having to defer $1.09 billion of that revenue for those who took advantage of Windows 8 upgrade deals. The company also posted healthy year-over-year revenue gains for its Entertainment and Devices Division (to $2.53 billion) and Online Services Division (to $832 million), although the Business group saw a relatively modest 8-point jump to $6.32 billion despite the launches of Office 2013 and Office 365.

As part of the results, CFO Peter Klein has given advance notice that he's leaving Microsoft at the end of the company's fiscal year, which ends in June. Neither the company nor Klein has explained the departure, but it's characterized as a friendly one, rather than the abrupt exit we saw the last time around.

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Microsoft Reports Third-Quarter Results

Microsoft delivers record third-quarter revenue and earnings per share; CFO transition announced.

REDMOND, Wash. - Apr. 18, 2013 - Microsoft Corp. today announced quarterly revenue of $20.49 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2013. Operating income, net income, and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $7.61 billion, $6.06 billion, and $0.72 per share.

These financial results reflect the net recognition of revenue related to the Windows Upgrade Offer, Office Upgrade Offer and Pre-Sales, and the Entertainment and Devices Division Video Game Deferral, partially offset by the European Commission fine. The following table reconciles these financial results reported in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) to non-GAAP financial results. We have provided this non-GAAP financial information to aid investors in better understanding the company's performance.

"The bold bets we made on cloud services are paying off as people increasingly choose Microsoft services including Office 365, Windows Azure, Xbox LIVE, and Skype," said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft. "While there is still work to do, we are optimistic that the bets we've made on Windows devices position us well for the long-term."

The Microsoft Business Division posted $6.32 billion of revenue, an 8% increase from the prior year period. Adjusting for the net recognition of revenue related to the Office Upgrade Offer and Pre-Sales, Microsoft Business Division non-GAAP revenue increased 5%. During the quarter, we launched the new Office, enhancing productivity and the user experience through new mobility, social, and cloud features.

The Server & Tools business reported $5.04 billion of revenue, an 11% increase from the prior year period, driven by double-digit percentage revenue growth in SQL Server and System Center.

"Our enterprise business continues to thrive," said Kevin Turner, chief operating officer at Microsoft. "Enterprise customers are increasingly turning to Microsoft for their IT solutions and as a result, we continue to take share from our competitors in key areas including hybrid cloud, data platform, and virtualization."

The Windows Division posted revenue of $5.70 billion, a 23% increase from the prior year period. Adjusting for the recognition of revenue related to the Windows Upgrade Offer, Windows Division non-GAAP revenue was flat. During the quarter, we added to the Surface family of devices with Surface Pro.

The Online Services Division reported revenue of $832 million, an 18% increase from the prior year period. Online advertising revenue grew 22% driven by an increase in revenue per search.

The Entertainment and Devices Division posted revenue of $2.53 billion, an increase of 56% from the prior year period. Adjusting for the recognition of revenue related to the Video Game Deferral, the division's non-GAAP revenue increased 33% for the third quarter. Xbox LIVE now has over 46 million members worldwide, an 18% increase from the prior year period.

"Our diverse business continues to deliver solid financial results, even as we navigate the evolving device market," said Peter Klein, chief financial officer at Microsoft. "Looking ahead, we will continue to invest in long-term growth opportunities to drive our devices and services strategy forward and deliver ongoing value to shareholders."

Business Outlook

Adjusting for the European Commission fine, Microsoft is revising operating expense guidance downward and now offers a range of $30.2 billion to $30.5 billion for the full year ending June 30, 2013. Microsoft also offers preliminary fiscal year 2014 operating expense guidance of $31.6 billion to $32.2 billion, representing 4% to 6% growth from the mid-point of fiscal year 2013 adjusted guidance.

CFO Transition

The company also announced Microsoft CFO Peter Klein will leave the company at the end of the current fiscal year, after nearly four years in role and 11 years at the company. Microsoft will be naming a new CFO from its finance leadership team in the next several weeks.

"It has been a pleasure to work with Peter as CFO," Ballmer said. "He's been a key member of my leadership team and a strategic advisor to me, and I wish him the very best."

"I've had a great experience as CFO and overall in my time at Microsoft," Klein said. "We have an incredibly strong finance organization, and I'm looking forward to working with my successor on the transition through the end of the fiscal year."

Webcast Details

Peter Klein, chief financial officer, Frank Brod, chief accounting officer, and Chris Suh, 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. 18, 2014.

Adjusted Financial Results and Non-GAAP Measures

For the third quarter fiscal year 2013, GAAP revenue, operating income, and earnings per share included the recognition of revenue for the Windows Upgrade Offer, the Office Upgrade Offer and Pre-Sales, and the Entertainment and Devices Division Video Game Deferral, partially offset by the European Commission fine. These items are defined in our Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended March 31, 2013. In addition to these financial results reported in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), we have provided certain non-GAAP financial information to aid investors in better understanding the company's performance. Presenting these measures without the impact of these items gives additional insight into operational performance and helps clarify trends affecting the company's business. For comparability of reporting, management considers this information in conjunction with GAAP amounts in evaluating business performance. These non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered as a substitute for, or superior to, the measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP.