Strong sales of Halo 2, PCs and servers should help Microsoft's ( MSFT) second-quarter results rise modestly above guidance and expectations, analysts say. The launch of the Halo 2 video game was probably the biggest news of the December quarter for the world's largest software maker, which reports results after the bell Thursday. Since its debut Nov. 9, Halo 2 sales have shot to 6.4 million units worldwide, Microsoft said last week. Those hefty sales could lead to stronger-than-expected results for Microsoft's Home and Entertainment division, which includes video-game and Xbox-game console sales. Microsoft had projected the division would show only a modest 1% to 3% increase in second-quarter revenue. Indeed, Goldman Sachs analyst Rick Sherlund believes Halo 2 results could bring the first-ever quarterly profit to the unit, given that Microsoft enjoys more than 80% to 90% margins on game-software sales. (Sherlund has an outperform rating on Microsoft, and his firm has done banking with Microsoft.) But expecting the division to show its first-ever profit may be too optimistic, said Ola Folarin, a software analyst with PNC Advisers, who notes that Microsoft loses money on every Xbox console. More importantly, how much can higher-than-anticipated sales of a video game impact a giant like Microsoft? "The way I look at it , for a company with a market cap of close to $300 billion, if there is an upside of $1 billion, how much difference will that be?" Folarin said. (PNC Advisers holds Microsoft shares.) It's an argument that has been plaguing Microsoft for years now: The company has simply become a victim of its own success, with its two cash cows -- Windows and Office -- growing so big that the law of large numbers makes it difficult for other products to make a difference.