Microsoft's Surface devices hit another rocky patch as sales remain stagnant

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Facebook revenue for its fourth fiscal quarter of 2017, which ended December 31, hit $12.97 billion, up 48 percent from $8.8 billion for the same period in 2016.

LinkedIn contributed $1.3 billion to the top line, while Office 365 commercial revenue surged 41 percent and Dynamics 365 jumped 67 percent year-over-year. Enterprise Mobility is a strong growth area for Microsoft and their installed base increased to 60 million already.

Revenue was also a strong point for Microsoft as the company raked in $28.92 billion, well ahead of the $28.40 billion that analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were calling for. Profit also increased from $3.6 billion to $4.3 billion.

Without the big tax charge, Microsoft reported a profit of US$7.5 billion, compared with a profit of US$6.3 billion in last year's second quarter. Unfortunately, as we already reported, Surface sales were up only 1 percent, with only $1.3 billion in sales.

Revenue at Microsoft's Azure cloud computing division, a main focus for investors, grew 98 per cent during the quarter. However, Microsoft did post a loss of $6.3 billion for the quarter due to a one-time tax charge of $13.8 billion stemming from changes to the United States tax system.

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Microsoft Corporation shares were trading at $95.01 per share on Wednesday afternoon, up $2.27 (+2.45%). Analysts were calling for revenue of $7.51 billion in this segment, per FactSet.

Now commercial cloud revenue for Microsoft's second quarter was $5.3 billion, up 56 percent from a year ago. Overall, Microsoft (MSFT) reported better-than-expected earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/shares-of-microsoft-slide-as-software-giant-reports-a-quarterly-loss-on-tax-cuts-2018-01-31) for its fiscal second quarter, even as the company reported a net loss because of a whopping $13.8 billion charge associated with changes in the USA tax code. The figure topped the FactSet consensus estimate of $12.02 billion.

"Our investments in IoT, data, and AI services...position us to further accelerate growth". Year-to-date, MSFT has gained 11.07%, versus a 5.64% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

Gaming revenue grew by 8% (8% CC), which includes an impressive 14% growth (13% CC) in Xbox hardware, which is attributed to the Xbox One X launch in November.

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