Microsoft is forecasting a slowdown in revenue growth for the current fiscal year, following its strong growth in fiscal year 1996.
Reuters has reported that Microsoft has filed a document with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in which the company says its revenue growth and profit margins may decline in fiscal 1997, which ends in June 1997. Microsoft officials here are declining comment on the reports.
In the filing with the SEC, Microsoft focused on a likely slowdown in revenue growth in the first two quarters of the current fiscal year and noted that the operating expenses are expected to increase this year, according to Reuters.
In July, Microsoft announced revenues of US$8.76 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1996, an increase of 46% from the preceding year. Net earnings totaled US$2.2 billion in fiscal 1996, up 48% from fiscal 1995.
Those numbers exceeded analysts' expectations. Jubilant Microsoft executives attributed the phenomenal growth in 1996 to the launch of Windows 95, which accounted for a 74% increase in the desktop platforms division's revenues during fiscal year 1996.
Looking ahead at the time, Microsoft predicted that the largest generator of revenue in fiscal 1997 would be desktop applications, driven by the release of Office 97 in November, while the company planned to spend heavily on research and development.
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