Microsoft earnings beat expectations, cloud growth continues to slow

Microsoft (MSFT) reported second-quarter earnings after the bell on Tuesday, narrowly missing analysts’ revenue expectations and beating on earnings per share.

Here are the most important numbers from the report compared to what analysts expected in the quarter, as compiled by Bloomberg.

  • Returned: $52.7 billion vs $52.9 billion expected

  • Adjusted EPS: $2.32 vs $2.30 expected

  • Productivity and business process: $17 billion vs $16.8 billion expected

  • Smart cloud: $21.5 billion vs $21.4 billion expected

  • More personal computing: $14.2 billion vs $14.7 billion expected

Microsoft shares rose more than 4% immediately after the news.

Despite lower earnings per share, Microsoft’s cloud business continued to slow in the quarter. The company said its Intelligent Cloud segment grew 18% in the quarter, while its Azure services grew 31%. That’s down from the second quarter of last year, in which Intelligent Cloud and Azure saw growth of 26% and 46%, respectively.

“The next great wave of computing is being born, as Microsoft Cloud transforms the world’s most advanced AI models into a new computing platform,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement. “We are committed to helping our customers use our platforms and tools to do more with less today and innovate for the future in the new era of AI.”

Microsoft’s announcement follows news that the company is committing to a multi-year, multi-billion dollar investment in OpenAI in an effort to better compete against competitors including from Amazon (AMZN) to Google (GOOG, GOOGL).

The investment should help Microsoft further differentiate its cloud offerings from rivals like Amazon and Google. The company is also said to be bringing the technology to its Bing search engine, a move that could threaten Google’s search dominance.

Last week, however, Microsoft laid off some 10,000 employees. The move comes as the company faces a slump in PC sales. Windows OEM revenue, which is the amount Microsoft makes from sales of its operating system to PC makers, fell 39% year-over-year.

The company is also continuing its push to buy video game giant Activision Blizzard for $69 billion. So far, the Federal Trade Commission, the UK Competition and Markets Authority and the European Commission of the EU have either lodged complaints about the deal or are outright working to defeat it.

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