Shares of Microsoft (MSFT) were advancing 1.2% to $75.15 in after-hours trading on Thursday after the tech giant beat on its top and bottom line for the fiscal fourth quarter, boosted by continued success in its all-important cloud business. The after-hours bump represents an all-time high for Microsoft's stock.
Microsoft reported adjusted earnings of 98 cents per share, surpassing analysts' estimated 71 cents per share. Revenue surged 13% year-over-year to $24.7 billion, which was higher than Wall Street's projected $24.3 billion.
The company's Intelligent Cloud unit, which contains its Azure cloud platform and Windows Server product, saw sales jump 11% year-over-year to $7.4 billion, beating consensus estimates of $7.3 billion. Microsoft doesn't break out results for its Azure cloud platform but noted that Azure revenues increased 97% year-over-year in the quarter.
Revenue in Microsoft's Productivity and Business Processes, which contains LinkedIn and its Office 365 software, spiked 21% year-over-year. LinkedIn revenue was $1.1 billion, which is higher than the $975 million it generated in the third quarter. Microsoft acquired LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in 2016 -- the company's largest deal to date. TheStreet's founder Jim Cramer said he expects this to be the year that Microsoft begins to share more information about how it's using LinkedIn.
But Microsoft's Azure cloud product has by far been gaining the most attention from Wall Street so far.
Under CEO Satya Nadella's leadership, Microsoft has embarked on a major transition toward becoming a cloud computing giant. The company faces tough competition from Amazon's (AMZN) AWS, Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL) Google Cloud and others, but has been able to grow quickly in scale and reach. More and more large enterprises have said they favor Azure over competitors, while several analysts estimate that Microsoft's cloud offering could overtake AWS (its foremost rival) as soon as this year.
"Innovation across our cloud platforms drove strong results this quarter," said CEO Satya Nadella in the earnings release. "Customers are looking to Microsoft and our thriving partner ecosystem to accelerate their own digital transformations and to unlock new opportunity in this era of intelligent cloud and intelligent edge."
Shares of Microsoft have surged nearly 20% so far this year.
The company's ambitions in the cloud were partly to blame for its latest round of layoffs, which were announced earlier this year and could impact thousands of employees. Microsoft didn't make note of the layoffs in its earnings release on Thursday.
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