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Microsoft Tops Estimates, CFO Steps Down (Update 1)

Stocks in this article: MSFT

Updated from 4:50 p.m. EST to provide analyst comments in the third paragraph.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Microsoft (MSFT) was rising 2.29% to $29.45 in extended trading after the software leader booked a double-digit jump in fiscal third-quarter earnings following a surge in sales at its Windows Division.

The company also said CFO Peter Klein will be leaving Microsoft at the end of the current fiscal year, after nearly four years in the role and 11 years at the company. Microsoft will be naming a new CFO from its finance leadership team in the next several weeks.

"It was a strong beat on EPS driven by margin upside even with an EU fine and only a slight revenue miss," said Michael Turits, a New York-based analyst at Raymond James. "The overall hit on revenue was less than feared," given the concerns about declining PC shipments.

Microsoft said profit rose to $6.06 billion, or 72 cents a share on revenue of $20.5 billion in the quarter, up from earnings of $5.1 billion, or 61 cents a share on sales of $17.4 billion the same time last year. Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of 68 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters. Revenue came roughly in line with expectations.

The Windows Division posted revenue of $5.7 billion, a 23% increase from the prior year period driven by Surface tablet sales and deferred recognitions of revenue from a Windows 8 upgrade offer. Revenue year-over-year without the deferrals was flat.

Adjusting for a European Commission fine, Microsoft has revised its full-year operating expense guidance down to $30.2 billion to $30.5 billion.

Microsoft also offered a preliminary fiscal year 2014 operating expense guidance of $31.6 billion to $32.2 billion, representing 4% to 6% growth from the midpoint of its fiscal 2013 adjusted guidance.

A week before Microsoft's earnings release research firm IDC said global PC shipments dropped 13.9% in the first quarter, accelerated by the tepid reception to Microsoft's latest version of Windows launched on Oct. 26.

Written by Andrea Tse in New York

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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