Microsoft 4Q Profits Up 10 Percent

Tuesday, July 18th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SEATTLE (AP) — Fourth-quarter profits at Microsoft Corp. were up 10 percent despite flat sales, helping the software giant beat Wall Street's expectations.

For the three months ended June 30, Microsoft made $2.41 billion, or 44 cents per share, on sales of $5.80 billion. In the same period a year ago, Microsoft made $2.20 billion, or 40 cents per share, on sales of $5.76 billion.

Analysts who follow Microsoft had estimated earnings of 42 cents per share, according to First Call/Thomson Financial.

Shares of Microsoft bumped a bit higher in after-hours trading after finishing the day on the Nasdaq Stock Market at $78.50, up 31.3 cents.

``We experienced another record year of business results despite many challenges,'' said John Connors, Microsoft's chief financial officer. ``In particular, the Asia region rebounded nicely and our consumer business experienced a significant increase in revenue.''

Fourth-quarter revenues from Asia and computer sales were slightly higher, as were sales of Microsoft's operating systems. However, the company saw decreases in sales in Europe and South America and a drop of more than $300 million in sales of its Office software suite and software developer tools.

The company posted a $200 million improvement in sales from a year ago in its consumer and Internet division, an area that includes the Microsoft Network Web sites and was once considered nearly a lost cause.

For its fiscal year, Microsoft reported profits of $9.42 billion, or $1.70 per share, up 20 percent from $7.79 billion, or $1.42 per share, a year ago.

Microsoft's total sales for the year were $22.96 billion, up 16 percent from last year's $19.75 billion.