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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Microsoft stocks surged 8% as artificial intelligence helped boost their sales


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Microsoft has exceeded Wall Street’s expectations when it comes to their quarterly revenue and profit. This was due to the growth of their cloud computing and Office productivity software businesses, as well as the increasing sales stimulated by their artificial intelligence products. Looking ahead to the current quarter, the company anticipates their main segments’ revenue to either match or exceed the targets set by Wall Street.

This news caused Microsoft’s shares to surge 8.3% in after-market trading. The company reported earnings of $2.45 per share in their third fiscal quarter, which is higher than the estimated $2.23 per share according to Refinitiv.

Bob O’Donnell of TECHnalysis Research commented, “Despite the fears that tech companies may struggle in the current climate, the truth is that cloud computing is still in high demand.” Microsoft also recorded an impressive 27% growth in their Azure cloud business, beating the expected growth of 26.6% based on the consensus from 23 analysts polled by Visible Alpha.

The achievements of Microsoft and Google (owner of Alphabet) in this quarter helped boost the shares of Amazon.com, another major cloud operator, by 4.8% in after hours trading. Microsoft’s total revenue for the March quarter was $52.9 billion, surpassing the analyst estimate of $51.02 billion based on Refinitiv data.

Most of Microsoft’s income still comes from software and cloud computing services, however they have also been in the news recently due to their partnership with OpenAI and the introduction of AI technology to their search engine Bing. CEO Satya Nadella noted that the Azure-OpenAI service has more than 2,500 customers, and AI is now integrated into the majority of their products. Bing’s daily users have now reached 100 million, and downloads have jumped with the addition of AI features.

Despite analysts anticipating a drop in Windows sales due to the economic situation, Microsoft’s revenue in the segment exceeded expectations at $13.3 billion versus the estimated $12.19 billion according to Refinitiv. Similarly, their productivity segment, which includes Office software and LinkedIn advertising, also performed better than expected at $17.5 billion versus the estimated $16.99 billion.

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