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Microsoft bounces back to profitability in Q3, posts EPS of $0.55 on $16.01 billion in revenue

Microsoft (MSFT) has a lot going on ahead of next week’s Windows 8 launch, what with it being in the early stages of a major shift. With plenty on its plate, the company took time away from introducing the world to the new Microsoft to report its financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2013. Wall Street’s EPS expectations had fallen from $0.60 to the current analyst consensus of $0.57 per share, and revenue estimates averaged $16.45 billion leading up to Thursday’s earnings release. The numbers are now in and Microsoft narrowly missed expectations, posting a profit of $0.55 per share on $16.01 in sales. Though numbers were down versus the same quarter last year, Microsoft bounced back from its first ever quarterly loss in the prior quarter, which was caused by a one-time charge related to its botched aQuantive acquisition in 2007. Microsoft’s full release follows below.

Microsoft Reports First-Quarter Results

Upcoming launches of key products and services position Microsoft for long-term profit growth.

REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 18, 2012 — Microsoft Corp. today announced quarterly revenue of $16.01 billion for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2012. Operating income, net income, and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $5.31 billion, $4.47 billion, and $0.53 per share.

These financial results reflect the deferral of $1.36 billion of revenue and $0.13 of diluted earnings per share, due to the Windows Upgrade Offer, pre-sales of Windows 8 to OEMs prior to general availability, and the Office Offer.

Totals may not foot due to rounding

“The launch of Windows 8 is the beginning of a new era at Microsoft,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft. “Investments we’ve made over a number of years are now coming together to create a future of exceptional devices and services, with tremendous opportunity for our customers, developers, and partners.”

The Server & Tools business reported $4.55 billion in first-quarter revenue, an 8% increase from the prior year period, driven by double-digit revenue growth in SQL Server and more than 20% growth in System Center revenue. In September, Microsoft continued to enrich its server offerings with the launch of Windows Server 2012.

The Microsoft Business Division posted $5.50 billion in first-quarter revenue, a 2% decrease from the prior year period. Adjusting for the impact of the Office Offer, Microsoft Business Division non-GAAP revenue increased 1% for the first quarter. Microsoft’s productivity server offerings – including Lync, SharePoint, and Exchange – continued double-digit revenue growth.

“While enterprise revenue continued to grow and we managed our expenses, the slowdown in PC demand ahead of the Windows 8 launch resulted in a decline in operating income,” said Peter Klein, chief financial officer at Microsoft. “Multi-year licensing revenue grew double-digits across Windows, Server & Tools, and Microsoft Business Division products as businesses commit to our technology roadmap.”

The Windows & Windows Live Division posted revenue of $3.24 billion, a 33% decrease from the prior year period. Adjusting for the impact of the Windows Upgrade Offer and pre-sales of Windows 8 to OEMs prior to general availability, Windows division non-GAAP revenue declined 9% for the first quarter. Windows 8 will become generally available October 26, 2012.

“We’re incredibly excited to be approaching general availability of Windows 8 and Windows RT,” said Kevin Turner, Microsoft chief operating officer.  “We’ve already certified more than 1,000 systems for Windows 8 from our hardware partners, ranging from the smallest tablets and convertibles to touch-enabled ultrabooks and all-in-ones to the most powerful desktop computers.”

The Online Services Division reported revenue of $697 million, a 9% increase from the prior year period. Online advertising revenue grew 15% driven primarily by an increase in revenue per search.

The Entertainment and Devices Division posted revenue of $1.95 billion, a decrease of 1% from the prior year period. Xbox continues to be the top-selling console in the U.S., where it now has 49% market share. Windows Phone 8 will launch this fall with an expanded array of products, prices, carriers, and markets. Skype continued its rapid growth and now has over 280 million users.

Business Outlook

Microsoft reaffirms fiscal year 2013 operating expense guidance of $30.3 billion to $30.9 billion.

Webcast Details

Peter Klein, chief financial officer, Frank Brod, chief accounting officer, and Bill Koefoed, general manager of Investor Relations, will host a conference call and webcast at 2:30 p.m. PDT (5:30 p.m. EDT) today to discuss details of the company’s performance for the quarter and certain forward-looking information. The session may be accessed at The webcast will be available for replay through the close of business on Oct. 18, 2013.

Adjusted Financial Results and Non-GAAP Measures

In addition to financial results reported in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), we have provided certain non-GAAP financial information to aid investors in better understanding the company’s performance. For first quarter fiscal year 2013 revenue, operating income, and earnings per share growth, we included the impact of revenue deferred during the first quarter of fiscal year 2013 relating to the Windows Upgrade Offer, pre-sales of Windows 8 to OEMs prior to general availability, and the Office Offer. Presenting these measures without the impact of these items gives additional insight into operational performance and helps clarify trends affecting the company’s business. For comparability of reporting, management considers this information in conjunction with GAAP amounts in evaluating business performance. These non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered as a substitute for, or superior to, the measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP.

Non-GAAP Reconciliations 

(In millions, except percentages)

Three Months Ended

September 30,

Percentage Change

2011 As Reported WWLD revenue (GAAP)



2012 As Reported WWLD revenue (GAAP)



Revenue deferred for Windows Upgrade Offer and Windows 8 Pre sales



2012 As Adjusted WWLD revenue (Non-GAAP)



(In millions, except percentages)

Three Months Ended

September 30,

Percentage Change

2011 As Reported MBD revenue (GAAP)



2012 As Reported MBD revenue (GAAP)



Revenue deferred for Office Offer



2012 As Adjusted MBD revenue (Non-GAAP)




Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.