Microsoft's Q3: Nothing, not even the EU, can stop the profits

Microsoft today announced third-quarter revenue, operating income and diluted earnings per share of $14.45 billion, $4.41

billion and $0.47, respectively -- and that's after the EU's wrist slap of $1.4 billion (or 15 cents a share), as reported today.

Server and Tools revenue experienced growth of 18%, the 23 quarter in which the unit experienced double-digit revenue growth. Microsoft also noted that its Entertainment and Devices revenue for the quarter grew 68% over third-quarter a year ago, most driven by sales of Xbox 360 consoles. Console sales alone surpassed $19 million during the quarter, up 74% from a year ago.

Microsoft is projecting another huge quarter for its fourth quarter, which ends June 30. The company expects revenue to

be in the range of $15.5 billion to $15.8 billion, with profits landing at $5.8 billion to $6.2 billion. For the full year, also ending June 30, it expects its revenue to land in the range of $66.9 billion to $68 billion with profits coming in at $26.7 billion to $27.4 billion. So far this year, Microsoft has spent almost 5.8 billion on R&D efforts.

The initial press release also notes that Microsoft $154 million in legal charges -- which is clearly nothing considering its nearly $5 billion in profit.

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