Microsoft earnings up, despite lagging sales in Asia, Far East

Microsoft has reported second quarter earnings of US$1.1 billion, or 85 cents per diluted share, up from $741 million, or 57 cents per share, reported a year ago, beating analyst expectations. Revenues for the quarter, ended Dec. 31, were $3.6 billion, a 34 percent increase over the $2.7 billion reported for the corresponding quarter a year ago, the company said. The 49% jump in per-share earnings took the company above expectations of analysts polled by First Call, who predicted Microsoft would post profits of 83 cents per share. The news was not all good, however. The company's revenues declined eight percent in Southeast Asia and the Far East, where economic weaknesses 'cloud the outlook for 1998,' the company said in the statement.

Microsoft has reported second quarter earnings of US$1.1 billion, or 85 cents per diluted share, up from $741 million, or 57 cents per share, reported a year ago, beating analyst expectations.

Revenues for the quarter, ended Dec. 31, were $3.6 billion, a 34 percent increase over the $2.7 billion reported for the corresponding quarter a year ago, the company said.

The 49% jump in per-share earnings took the company above expectations of analysts polled by First Call Corp., who predicted Microsoft would post profits of 83 cents per share.

The news was not all good, however. The company's revenues declined 8% in Southeast Asia and the Far East, where economic weaknesses "cloud the outlook for 1998," the company said in the statement.

Operations in Europe were strong, where revenues increased 33 percent, and in the company's Original Equipment Maker (OEM) business, where revenues increased 40% year over year, the statement said.

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