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Earnings Roundup

Microsoft profit drops 29% amid weak sales

July 24, 2009|David Sarno

Microsoft Corp. reported a 29% decline in quarterly profit Thursday, placing it alongside several technology firms whose earnings have slumped because of the recession.

"Our business continued to be negatively impacted by weakness in the global PC and server markets," Chris Liddell, Microsoft's chief financial officer, said in a statement.

Net income at the Redmond, Wash., software giant fell to $3.05 billion, or 34 cents a share, in its fiscal fourth quarter, down from $4.3 billion, or 46 cents, a year earlier. Revenue declined 17% to $13.10 billion.

Microsoft shares lost as much 8% in late trading after rising 76 cents, or 3.1%, to $25.56 in regular trading.

Earnings fell across all of its business segments, including a 33% decline in its Client division, which makes Windows operating system software.

"They were really light on revenue," said Kim Caughey, senior analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group. "They need to explain where the money went. If I was Nancy Drew, this would be the case of the missing revenue."

Showing its intense interest in competing in Web-based markets, Microsoft made several major announcements in recent weeks, including the launch of its Bing search engine and the unveiling of an online-based suite of Office software to be launched next year.

Both of those products are salvos in the company's battle with Google Inc., which has been trying to encroach on Microsoft's lucrative business software market.

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david.sarno@latimes.com

Times wire services were used in compiling this report.

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