Microsoft delivered financial results for the fourth quarter of 2012 that slightly exceeded estimates. But it declined to provide an update on Windows 8 sales and didn’t discuss Surface hardware sales at all.
For the quarter ending December, Microsoft posted net income of $6.38 billion on revenues of $21.46 billion. The firm ended the quarter with $68.3 billion in cash and cash-like assets, up from the $63 billion it reported six months ago.
“Our big, bold ambition to reimagine Windows as well as launch Surface and Windows Phone 8 has sparked growing enthusiasm with our customers and unprecedented opportunity and creativity with our partners and developers,” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is credited as saying a prepared statement. “With new Windows devices, including Surface Pro, and the new Office on the horizon, we’ll continue to drive excitement for the Windows ecosystem and deliver our software through devices and services people love and businesses need.”
With the continuing bad news around Windows 8, Microsoft’s Windows division is of particular interest this quarter. But Windows posted a 24 percent revenue gain, year-over-year, to $5.88 billion and is once again, if temporarily, Microsoft’s biggest business. That gain included $783 million in deferred Windows 8 pre-sale revenues that were recorded in the quarter. But even without this addition, Windows revenues were up 11 percent year-over-year.
The Business division, which sells Microsoft Office, continues to be one of Microsoft’s biggest businesses despite the pending release of a new wave of Office products. The division reported $5.6 billion in revenues, down 10 percent year-over-year.
Entertainment and Devices, which makes the Xbox, was also down a bit, which makes sense given the expected Xbox console refreshes coming this year. Entertainment and Devices reported revenues of just $3.7 billion, down 11 percent from last year’s $4.2 billion.
Server & Tools revenues were up 9 percent to $5.19 billion. And the Online Services Division, a historic money pit, saw revenues up 11 percent to $869 million. But Online Services still lost $283 million in the quarter, down from last year’s loss of $459 million.
Microsoft’s post-earnings announcement conference call begins at 5:30 pm ET, so I’ll report on any future developments—perhaps a peek at Surface sales—in Short Takes. See: "WinInfo Short Takes: Microsoft Earnings Special Edition."