Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected Microsoft to post earnings of 32 cents a share on revenue of $12.4 billion, however. Tight cost controls and better-than-expected sales sent the company's shares up more than 6% this morning to $28.35, topping off a big week for Redmond after launching its Windows 7 operating system to positive reviews yesterday. No pre-sales numbers were included in its latest results, offering hope that the current quarter will show a boost in sales from the new operating system.
Revenue from its entertainment and devices division, which includes the Xbox 360 and the new Zune HD, was almost unchanged from last year, but profit nearly doubled. However, losses from its online business continued to mount, jumping 50 percent to $480 million as Microsoft poured money into trying to catch up with Google.