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Thursday, 19 April, 2001, 21:21 GMT 22:21 UK
Microsoft results beat forecasts
Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft
Bill Gates will be pleased by Microsoft's sound set of numbers
The technology giant Microsoft has reported strong results, beating analyst estimates.

The company has announced revenues of $6.46bn for the quarter ended 31 March 2001.

This represents a 14% increase over $5.66bn, reported in the same period last year.


Despite this quarter's solid performance, we continue to be mindful of the current economic climate

John Connors
Microsoft
Net income came in at $2.45bn, or 44 cents a share, exceeding analyst forecasts by almost 5%.

The company also beat its own estimates, which are usually considered to be quite cautious.

"Results were strong across all businesses and came in a little better than we expected," said John Connors, chief financial officer.

"We were particularly pleased by the ongoing strong performance of Windows 2000 Professional and the accelerating demand for our .NET Enterprise Server products by business customers."

In after-market trading, the company's stock was up about $6 to more than $71 at 2120 GMT.

Cautious

Nevertheless, the company warned that it could be affected by the economic slowdown.

"Despite this quarter's solid performance, we continue to be mindful of the current economic climate and the impact it may have on business and consumer demand," said Mr Connors.

Microsoft also estimated that revenue for the next quarter ending on 30 June 2001 would be in the range of $6.3bn and $6.5bn.

For the full fiscal year, also ending on 30 June, the company forecast that revenue would be between $28bn and $29bn.

X-Box online

With this latest set of results, analysts are hoping to learn when the company's games platform X-Box will begin to add to profitability.

The company's push into gaming is part of an effort to diversify out of the personal computer sector.

Microsoft recently announced that it has formed an alliance with the Japanese internet and telecoms company NTT Communications.

Together, the two companies will develop internet access via Microsoft's games console X-Box.

They will also facilitate games distribution and other high-speed services, and make it possible for Japanese customers to play games over the net.

Court case

Additionally, Microsoft is currently embroiled in an anti-trust law suit.

Late last year the firm began a battle to overturn a previous court ruling that said Microsoft broke competition laws and must be split in two.

The tech giant has argued that the break-up ruling by US district Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson "would stifle innovation and harm, not help, competition."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Microsoft Executive Vice President Bob Herbold
"We are not as dependent as some other technology companies are on... the dotcom segment"


Analysis
See also:

18 Apr 01 | Business
19 Apr 01 | Business
29 Mar 01 | Business
27 Feb 01 | Business
26 Feb 01 | Business
18 Apr 01 | Business
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