Microsoft fails to notice the death of the PC, posts record revenue figures instead

Microsoft logoMicrosoft is reporting record revenue for the second quarter of its 2013 financial year. Performances were strong all around, with the Windows Division up 24 percent year on year.

Revenue was $21.456 billion, up three percent on the same quarter a year ago. Operating income was $7.771 billion, down three percent. Earnings per share also fell by three percent, at $0.76.

As is the norm for Microsoft financials at around the time of major product launches, there are substantial revenue deferrals in play that rejig the numbers a little. Both Windows 8 (launched last quarter) and Office 2013 (expected in coming weeks) went on sale before they were released. For example, anyone buying a PC with Windows 7 preinstalled in the final few months before Windows 8's release now qualifies for a Windows 8 license at no extra cost. A similar scheme is running for Office 2010 in the run-up to Office 2013's launch.

Microsoft's GAAP results defer revenue in the quarter that the sale is made until the product has been delivered. However, the company also releases non-GAAP numbers that recognize the deferred revenue immediately, so reflecting the money that the company has actually received. The GAAP results thus include some revenue that was taken during the last two quarters of Windows sales and held back, and exclude revenue for Windows 8 and Office 2013 licenses that still haven't shipped.

In these numbers, the company's revenue was $22.002 billion, up five percent from a year ago, its operating income was $8.317 billion, up four percent, and its EPS was $0.81, also up four percent.

The top performer was the Windows Division, reporting under its new name for the first time. Previously it was called "Windows and Windows Live Division." The new name reflects the termination of the "Windows Live" branding; it's also the division that houses Microsoft's Surface tablets. Revenue for the division was $5.881 billion, up 24 percent on a year ago; operating income was up 14 percent at $3.296 billion. However, there are some deferrals. $161 million of revenue last quarter was generated by Windows Upgrade Office sales and is now being deferred. $786 million was recognized, after having been previously deferred. Adjusting for the net revenue deferred gives a non-GAAP revenue of $5.259 billion, up 11 percent on a year ago.

Either way, this is a strong performance. Even with deferrals, revenue grew, outperforming the x86 market as a whole. The company didn't give any specific information about the sales performance of its Surface tablets and of Windows 8, saying only that "more than 60 million" licenses have been sold. It did, however, say non-OEM revenue (which includes Surface, retail upgrades, and volume licensing) grew by 40 percent. Some of this may have been stimulated by companies rushing to get volume licenses purchased prior to a new pricing scheme which Microsoft brought in at the end of last year.

Server and Tools division was up nine percent year on year, with revenue of $5.186 billion. Operating income was also up nine percent, at $2.121 billion. Microsoft showcased System Center revenue, up 18 percent, and SQL Server revenue, up 16 percent, as particular highlights. The division's revenue is still split 80:20 between products and services, with services a solid billion dollar a quarter operation.

Microsoft Business Division also had significant deferrals relating to Office 2013. Revenue was $5.691 billion, down 10 percent on a year ago, with operating income of $3.565 billion, down nine percent. However, there was considerable (deferred) Office Upgrade Offer and Office 2013 pre-sales revenue, amounting to $788 million. Include this and the revenue figure is $6,479 million, up three percent. There was some evidence here of the weaker PC market. Although software assurance revenue was up 10 percent, consumer/retail revenue was down two percent. Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync collectively grew double digits, with Lync alone growing by 35 percent.

Online Services Division is continuing its slow trudge towards profitability. Revenue was up 11 percent at $869 million, and losses were down 38 percent to $283 million. If the group can keep improving at this rate, it should attain profitability in the next couple of years.

The only division to show a worsening of its performance was the Entertainment and Devices Division. Unusually, this division also had revenue deferrals going on. Overall revenue was down 11 percent at $3.772 billion, although operating income rose 15 percent to $596 million. An additional $380 million for "Video Game Deferral" is being deferred, representing Halo 4 revenue. With that included, the division's revenue was down two percent, at $4,152. Unsurprisingly, in spite of it being the Christmas season, Xbox 360 sales were down year-on-year. Microsoft sold 5.9 million of them, 28 percent fewer than it sold 12 months ago, resulting in $1.1 billion less in Xbox 360 platform revenue. (This was only partially offset by increased Xbox Live revenue.) Windows Phone sales were up four times higher than some undisclosed number, Skype minutes were up 59 percent to 138 billion, and there are still over 40 million Xbox Live members.

Next quarter, Microsoft expects to recognize the remaining $1.1 billion related to Windows Upgrade Offer deferrals. The company also predicts growth across tablets, laptops, Ultrabooks, and all-in-ones thanks to Windows 8 and Windows RT.

Server and Tools product revenue should grow in the low teens and enterprise services revenue in the mid teens. Microsoft Business Division multi-year revenue is expected to grow by the low double digits, and transactional revenue is expected to outperform the x86 PC market. Growth in the high teens is also expected for Entertainment and Devices. The deferred revenue is expected to be recognized as the final parts of Halo 4 are delivered.

So Windows Division is back on top as Microsoft's top money-maker. As dependent as it is on the health of the PC market, it appears—so far—to be performing well. But the company is remaining tight-lipped about specifics. We still don't know how many Surfaces and Windows Phones have been sold. Until and unless the company has a truly bumper quarter and wants to boast about the numbers of both, we probably won't ever know.

Source: CDRinfo

Tags: Microsoft, report

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