Microsoft’s latest batch of quarterly financial results has brought quite a revelation – the company has failed to make a profit in its fourth quarter, which ran up to the end of June.
And it’s the first time in the firm’s history that a loss has been recorded.
However, the state of play isn’t actually that bad, as Microsoft notes, the main reason for the loss is a write-down of over $6 billion relating to the misguided and massively costly acquisition of aQuantive.
There was also the matter of deferred revenue due to the Windows Upgrade Offer to the tune of another half a billion.
All that rather sank the Redmond-based company’s profit margin, and indeed it lost half a billion in the quarter.
Revenue was up, though, by 4 per cent year-on-year, with Microsoft raking in $18 billion and helping to keep analysts upbeat on its likely future performance. Naturally, CEO Steve Ballmer was upbeat, too.
He said: “We delivered record fourth quarter and annual revenue, and we’re fast approaching the most exciting launch season in Microsoft history. Over the coming year, we’ll release the next versions of Windows, Office, Windows Server, Windows Phone, and many other products and services that will drive our business forward and provide unprecedented opportunity to our customers and partners.”
Impressive growth was seen in the Server & Tools division, where revenue was up 13 per cent for the fourth quarter, and 12 per cent for the full year.
The Entertainment and Devices Division did very well, up a whopping 20 per cent in the quarter, although only 8 per cent for the year (due to snapping up Skype).