Microsoft blows away Q2 expectations on cloud and personal computing strength

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, will keynote at Build, the company's annual conference for software developers, on Monday, May 6, 2019 in Seattle. (AP Photo / Elaine Thompson)
Microsoft (MSFT) reported its results for the second quarter of 2021 after the closing bell on Tuesday, slightly exceeding expectations in terms of revenue and profit. The company particularly pointed to the strength of its cloud business as a catalyst.
These are the key figures from the report compared to analyst expectations for the company, compiled by Bloomberg.
Revenue: $ 43.1 billion versus $ 40.2 billion expected
Earnings per share: $ 2.03 versus $ 1.64 expected
Smart Cloud: $ 14.68 versus $ 13.76 billion expected
More Personal Computing: $ 15.12 billion versus $ 13.55 billion expected
Microsoft's stock rose 5% in after-market trading.
"What we saw last year is the beginning of a second wave of digital transformation that is sweeping every company and every industry," said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, in a statement.
“Building your own digital functions is the new currency that drives the resilience and growth of any business. Microsoft is driving this change with the world's largest and most comprehensive cloud platform. "
The growth of Microsoft's cloud business continues to drive the company's share price as companies around the world ask the Redmond-based Windows maker about their connected infrastructure needs.
Microsoft is currently the second largest cloud provider after just Amazon (AMZN) and its Amazon Web Services suite of cloud offerings. According to Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, Microsoft's growth in this sector is expected to continue unabated.
"This current work from home is catalyzing more companies to conduct the strategic cloud shift with Microsoft on a broad front, with Azure growth remaining brisk," Ives wrote in a report prior to Microsoft's earnings announcement.
Microsoft recently announced that it is investing $ 2 billion to be the cloud provider of choice for the autonomous vehicle company Cruise owned by GM (GM) and Honda (HMC). In his role, Microsoft will provide a cloud infrastructure for Cruise so that autonomous vehicles can better navigate motorways and surface roads in the future.
Microsoft's consumer products have also been boosted by continued sales of home laptops and desktops that are needed by workers who cannot go to the office and children who cannot go to school in person.
Microsoft's gaming business performed well in the first few weeks following the company's Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X launch. Xbox content and services revenue grew a whopping 40% for the quarter.
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