Technology stocks have dipped in value in recent weeks as investors weigh the effects of rising inflation, anticipated rate hikes from the Federal Reserve and a possible slowdown in consumer spending. However, Microsoft’s latest earnings show that the company still looks like a safe bet in the long run. The technology giant Microsoft recorded a net profit of 18,765 million dollars (16,613 million euros) in its second fiscal quarter, ending in December, which is equivalent to an increase of 21% compared to the earnings of the same period of the previous year , according to the quarterly accounts published by the company.
Income between October and December amounted to 51,728 million (45,797 million euros), 20% more. Of that figure, income from the sale of products increased by 6.8%, to 20,779 million (18,396 million euros), while income from services stood at 30,949 million (27,400 million euros), 31% plus.
By business segments, the division of productivity and business processes, which brings together the software Office, Dynamics or the LinkedIn social network, saw a rise of 19.3%, to 15,936 million (14,109 million euros), while the cloud business (mainly Azure) entered 18,327 million (16,225 million euros), 25.5% more. In fact, a recent Morgan Stanley survey revealed that cloud computing projects remained the top priority within the budgets of big tech companies. The personal computing division (Windows, Xbox, Surface or Bing) rose by 15.5%, to 17,465 million (15,462 million euros).
The cost of products and services sold during the quarter stood at 16,960 million (15,015 million euros), 19.5% more, while sales and marketing expenses reached 5,379 million (4,762 million euros), a 8.7% more, and general and administrative expenses rose 21.5%, to 1,384 million (1,225 million euros). The research and development (R&D) item stood at 5,758 million (5,098 million euros), 17.5% more.
In the whole of the first six months of Microsoft’s fiscal year, the company recorded net profits of 39,270 million (34,767 million euros), 33.8% more. Revenues experienced an improvement of 21%, to 97,045 million dollars (85,918 million euros).
Although it has not specified the figures, Microsoft has indicated that in the second fiscal quarter video game revenue grew by 8%. Specifically, the billing for Xbox content and services grew by 10%, while the billing for the sale of video game consoles rose by 4%. To reinforce this division, the multinational agreed last week to acquire the video game publisher and developer Activision Blizzard for 68.7 billion dollars (60.823 million euros).
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The threat of inflation could affect Microsoft to a lesser extent. By having a dominant position in the development of operating systems and applications, the technology giant has more room to raise prices without the risk of losing too many customers, reports Bloomberg. The company has already announced substantial price increases from March for its office and communications products up to four dollars (about three and a half euros) per monthly user.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.