Microsoft 's fiscal fourth quarter profits rose to US$1.06 billion, company officials have announced, pointing to strong sales of Windows NT Server and other 32-bit products, as well as cost-control efforts.
For its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended June 30, Microsoft reported revenues of $3.18 billion, up 41% from the same period last year. Its net income of $1.06 billion, or 80 cents per share, represents an 86% increase over the 43 cents per share the company reported during the same period last year, officials said.
Microsoft had warned analysts in April that its fourth-quarter results would sequentially be lower, and that it expects revenue growth rates to slow next year. Fiscal fourth-quarter revenues were slightly lower compared to the third quarter, when the company reported $3.21 billion in revenues. But its earnings were slightly higher than the third quarter's $1.04 billion and just beat analysts' consensus expectations.
"They always hedge and they always beat the numbers," said Dave Jones, an analyst at California Technology Stock Letter in Half Moon Bay, in an interview before the earnings were released.
For the full 1997 fiscal year, Microsoft's revenues were $11.36 billion, up 31% from its fiscal year 1996 revenues of $8.67 billion. Its net income for fiscal 1997 climbed to $3.45 billion, or $2.63 per share, a 54% increase over the previous fiscal year's earnings of $2.2 billion, or $1.71 per share.
Analysts had expected Microsoft to report quarterly earnings of 79 cents per share, according to First Call, a Boston-based investment research firm that polled 25 analysts for its consensus estimate. For the full year, they predicted earnings of $2.63 per share.