Microsoft breaks $1 trillion value level

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Microsoft shares are trading near a record after rallying 34% over the past year.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft's chief executive, said businesses "trust" Microsoft, a potential hint at some companies' discomfort with using Amazon's cloud services while competing with other aspects of the company.

Amazon is still the market leader when it comes to cloud computing with Amazon Web Services (AWS), but Microsoft Azure has been steadily making gains.

Growth in that unit slowed to 73 per cent in the third quarter ended March 31 from 76 per cent in the second quarter.

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Microsoft's shares rose on Wednesday after the company posted its financial results for the third quarter of 2019.

Overall, it's been a remarkable quarter for the software giant: operating income was up to $10.3 billion (a 25-percent increase), net income up to $8.8 billion (19 percent), and earnings-per-share at $1.14 (up 20 percent). Total revenue for the quarter was $30.6 billion, a 14% increase year-over-year.

Its commercial cloud revenue booked in the quarter rose 41 percent year-on-year to Dollars 9.6 billion.

Microsoft sees its productivity and business processes unit, mostly Office software, reaching revenue of $10.6 billion to $10.8 billion in the fiscal fourth quarter, Hood said. As ever, there's more murkiness around these numbers than we would like, with Microsoft still electing not to give a hard dollar figure for Azure. The unit rose 8 percent to $10.7 billion in the fiscal third quarter. Microsoft said it also passed 100 million seats for its enterprise mobility products, up 53 percent from a year ago. Perhaps that's got something to do with the fact that Microsoft's revenue streams today are far more diverse than either Google Inc.'s (NASDAQ:GOOG) or Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AAPL), both being Wall Street darlings themselves.

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The positive earnings results helped Microsoft stock rise 4.3 percent in after-hours trading to $129.35. This growth in server products was driven in part by the imminent end-of-life for Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008.

Commercial cloud revenue, a measure of sales from Azure, internet-based versions of Office software and some smaller products, rose 41 percent in the period from a year earlier to $9.6 billion. LinkedIn revenue also grew by 27%.

Microsoft is battling Amazon for a multi-billion dollar contract to supply the USA military with cloud computing services. Surface will generate double-digit growth, while Gaming revenue is expected to decline.

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