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Microsoft revenue climbs 15 percent

Microsoft revenue climbs 15 percent

Profiting from continued strength in the PC market, Microsoft has defied earnings misses by other software vendors and reported a 15 per cent increase in revenue for the final quarter of its 2004 fiscal year.

The world's largest software vendor reported net income of $US2.69 billion on revenue of $US9.29 billion for the fourth quarter of its 2004 fiscal year, ended June 30. That compared to net income of $US1.48 billion on revenue of $US8.07 billion in the year-earlier period, the company said.

Microsoft's fourth-quarter revenue came in ahead of analyst expectations of $US9 billion, according to a consensus estimate compiled by Thomson First Call.

Earnings per share were $US0.25 for the quarter, compared to $US0.14 per share a year earlier. This year's figure included a $US0.05 per share charge for stock-based employee compensation and a $US0.02 per share tax benefit. The figure from a year ago included a $US0.04 per share stock-based compensation charge and a $US0.05 per share charge for the settlement of an antitrust lawsuit with Time Warner.

All of Microsoft's groups met or exceeded company expectations, Microsoft Chief Financial Officer, John Connors, said.

Encouraged by its fourth quarter results, Microsoft raised its revenue guidance for its 2005 fiscal year to between $US38.4 billion and $US38.8 billion, but it lowered its earnings per share forecast to between $US1.05 and $US1.08, including a stock-based compensation expense of about $US0.16.

In April, Microsoft predicted fiscal year 2005 revenue of between $US37.8 billion and $US38.2 billion and earnings per share of between $US1.16 and $US1.18, including a stock-based compensation expense of about $US0.15.

Wall Street analysts polled by Thomson First Call had pegged Microsoft at earnings per share of $US1.34 on $US38.64 billion in revenue for the company's fiscal 2005 year, which started July 1.


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