Microsoft sales exceeded expectations as users prepared for the launch of AI

As consumers anticipate utilizing its artificial intelligence products, Microsoft (MSFT.O) on Tuesday outperformed Wall Street expectations for fiscal first-quarter earnings in all areas, with its cloud computing and PC businesses rising.

Additionally, much of its forecast exceeded analyst expectations

Most of the products based on Microsoft's work with the author of ChatGPT have yet to be released, despite the company's strong support for and collaboration with OpenAI. However, the company's sales increased 13% to $56.5 billion in the three months that ended on September 30, thanks to the enthusiasm of corporate technology purchasers for capabilities like the capacity to quickly write lines of computer code or condense mountains of email into a few bullet points. According to LSEG statistics, the analyst average estimate was $54.52 billion.

Jesse Cohen, senior analyst at Investing.com, stated that the findings "indicate that artificial intelligence products are stimulating sales and already contributing to top and bottom-line growth."


After-hours trading saw a 3% increase in Microsoft shares

Revenue from Microsoft's Intelligent Cloud division, which is home to its Azure cloud-computing platform where much of the AI work will be done, increased to $24.3 billion in the reporting quarter, above analysts' estimates of $23.49 billion, according to LSEG data. Revenue from Azure increased by 29%, above a growth forecast of 26.2% from market analysis company Visible Alpha.

According to Brett Iversen, vice president of investor relations at Microsoft, most of the quarterly revenue gain came from customers who renewed their use of the company's cloud in anticipation of employing AI services.

"What AI is doing ... is opening up either new conversations or extending existing conversations or getting us back in touch with customers that we maybe weren't doing as much to," Iversen stated to Reuters.

In contrast, Google parent Alphabet's (GOOGL.O) cloud division missed third-quarter revenue forecasts on Tuesday as customers cut spending due to the unstable economy and high borrowing rates.

The cloud figures from Microsoft and Google for this quarter indicate that Azure is gaining market share relative to its rivals, according to Bob O'Donnell, principal analyst at TECHnalysis Research. "It could be that Microsoft's very strong messaging on their (AI) technology is getting companies to consider them more seriously."

According to LSEG statistics, Microsoft reported a fiscal first-quarter profit of $2.99 per share, above analyst expectations of $2.65.

"There are some weaker areas," said Jeremy Goldman of research company Insider Intelligence. "Search advertising revenues, for example, are growing slower than most segments."

Microsoft reported a 10% rise in search and news advertising-income, excluding expenditures associated with traffic acquisition. The revenue number for these activities is still intact.

The $30 a month "Copilot" for its Microsoft 365 service, which can condense a day's worth of emails into a brief update, is one example of how Microsoft incorporates AI into its products. Copilot needs businesses to make several updates to existing Microsoft-based systems to utilize it, even though it is only being demonstrated to a few pilot clients until it becomes accessible next month.

Investors also keep tabs on Microsoft's expenditures on the enormous data centres that fuel its AI software. Microsoft reported on Tuesday that capital expenditures for the fiscal first quarter were $11.2 billion, up from $10.7 billion in the prior quarter, which was the highest level since at least fiscal 2016. According to Microsoft officials, that amount in the current fiscal year is anticipated to increase each quarter, putting the corporation on course to spend more than $44 billion.

According to statistics from LSEG, sales of its Windows operating system and other goods in the category it was increased to $13.7 billion, above the analysts' average forecast of $12.82 billion.

According to LSEG statistics, the market for the LinkedIn social network and its office productivity software increased to $18.6 billion from analysts' average estimates of $18.20 billion.

Microsoft predicted an Azure growth rate of 26-27% in constant currency for its fiscal second quarter, above analyst projections of 25.1%, according to Visible Alpha. In the Azure sector, the firm anticipated sales of $25.1 billion to $25.4 billion, above predictions of $24.94 billion, according to LSEG data.

According to LSEG statistics, Microsoft predicted fiscal second-quarter sales in the Windows-based business category would be between $16.5 billion and $16.9 billion, above predictions of $14.52 billion. Although it wasn't immediately apparent if analyst projections had considered that item, the forecast included income from Microsoft's acquisition of the game company Activision.

According to LSEG statistics, the firm projected sales of $18.8 billion to $19.1 billion for the business division that includes LinkedIn, substantially more than the $18.83 billion expected.

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