Microsoft fourth quarter boosted by Office, Windows sales

Net income was up 49 percent compared to a year ago

The release of Office 2010, as well as continued strong sales of Windows 7, helped buoy Microsoft through another quarter of increased revenue and profit, the company announced on Thursday.

The company announced that net income for the quarter, which ended June 30, was US$5.93 billion, an increase of 49 percent over the same quarter a year prior.

Fourth-quarter revenue of $16.04 billion was a 22 percent increase from the fourth quarter in the previous year, which was at $13.10 billion. Earnings per share for the most recent quarter were $0.51, a 50 percent increase.

Microsoft attributed much of the sales growth in the past quarter to Microsoft Office, launched during this quarter, as well as continued strong sales of Windows 7. The company noted that Windows 7 has sold more than 175 million licenses since it was launched last October.

For the fiscal year ending June 30, Microsoft reported net income of $18.76 billion, a 29 percent increase from the prior year, and revenue of $62.48 billion, a 7 percent increase from the prior year. The company had suffered declining income, due to the sluggish economy, in the last fiscal year.

With this past quarter, the company had significantly exceeded investor expectations. A Thomson Reuters survey of analysts expected a 17 percent revenue growth over the year-ago quarter, reaching $15.3 billion.

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