Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Ahead Of Earnings: Challenges Remain

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Ahead Of Earnings: Challenges Remain
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Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will release its fourth quarter earnings report after closing bell today, and Wall Street is pretty much expecting the report to be a rough one. After all, the company is making several major transitions all at the same time while also dealing with a declining PC industry and a struggling mobile hardware business. As a result, tonight’s results will probably be less about the numbers and more about any other hints Microsoft might have for investors.

Big changes underway at Microsoft

Over the last several months, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has announced that it is seeking a new CEO, buying Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V)’s devices division, and undergoing restructuring. And as if those things aren’t enough, the company is trying to work a successful shift from a traditional software sales model over to a monthly payments model.

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As a result, Wall Street isn’t expecting much. Analysts are looking for $23.7 billion in revenue for the December quarter and profits of 68 cents per share. That would be a 10% increase in revenue but a 10% decline in earnings year over year because the company’s expenses are increasing faster than its revenue.

What other news will Microsoft report?

But what will undoubtedly interest investors more will be any other news which may accompany Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s earnings announcement. The company is expected to name its next CEO in the current quarter, so that’s a slight possibility. There could also be an update on the purchase of Nokia’s devices division, which is also expected to close in the current quarter.

Other points of interest in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s results tonight include closer examination of Microsoft’s enterprise and cloud businesses. Enterprise offered a nice surprise in the company’s September quarter results, while cloud is becoming increasingly important, so investors will want to see signs that the segment will grow in the future.

News about Xbox One sales and the updated Surface tablets will also be of interest, including not only shipment numbers but also profit margins. And finally, some analysts have been suggesting that the PC market is bottoming out, which would be good news for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). Investors will want to watch for signs on that front as well.


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