Microsoft Beats on Strength in Servers Business

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Microsoft ( MSFT) reported mixed fourth-quarter results Thursday with earnings topping estimates as the software giant showed strong growth in its Server & Tools business but revenue coming in a tad light.

Even with customers holding off on Windows purchases until the release of Windows 8, Microsoft's other divisions experienced growth, with Server & Tools rising 13% year-over-year to $5.09 billion.

The Redmond, Wash.-based Dow component reported fourth-quarter non-GAAP earnings of $6.93 billion, or 73 cents per share.

Excluding $540 million in deferred revenue, Microsoft reported revenue of $18.06 billion for the June-ended quarter, a jump of 7% year-over-year.

GAAP results for the quarter were a loss of 6 cents a share, reflecting the previously disclosed massive $6.19 billion goodwill impairment charge in Microsoft's advertising business from its aQuantive acquisition.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were looking for earnings of 62 cents a share in the quarter on revenue of $18.13 billion. Independent analysts surveyed by Estimize were calling for a profit of 64 cents a share on $18.36 billion in revenue.

"The combination of solid revenue growth and rigorous cost discipline drove double-digit operating income growth for the quarter, adjusting for the goodwill impairment and deferred revenue," said Microsoft's CFO Peter Klein, in the press release. "We are focusing our resources in strategic areas that will deliver shareholder value and long-term growth opportunities."

Microsoft reaffirmed its fiscal year 2013 operating expense guidance of $30.3 billion to $30.9 billion. The company ended its fiscal year with $63.04 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments.

The company plans to hold a conference call at 5:30 p.m. EST to discuss the results.

Shares of Microsoft gained 0.71% to close Thursday's regular session at $30.67. The stock was last quoted at $31.17, up 1.7%, on after-hours volume of nearly 3 million, according to Nasdaq.com.

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-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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