Microsoft on Thursday reported its first quarterly loss since it was first listed on the stock exchange, depreciating in stock value and experiencing stagnation in sales of its Windows operating system.
After several years of lagging behind pioneers in mobile telephony and internet Apple Inc. and Google Inc. while the value of their shares stagnated for a decade, there are expectations that Microsoft will re-emerge as a technology leader with its new Windows 8 touchscreen – to be released on October 26 – as well as a tablet of their own design.
“Given the macroeconomic environment, these figures are very good,” said Trip Chowdhry, an analyst with Global Equities Research. “There is much anticipation about upcoming Microsoft products. We are regaining credibility with the companies,” he said.
The company reported a net loss of $492 million or $0.06 per share in its fourth fiscal quarter versus a net income of 5.87 billion or $0.69 per share in the same period last year.
The losses had been anticipated after Microsoft said earlier this month that it would take a load of 6.2 billion for the amortization of the value of the unit online after a disastrous acquisition.
Microsoft has never suffered a quarterly loss since the company began trading on the Stock Exchange in 1986.
Sales rose 4% to 18 million despite a fall in the sales of computers that use its Windows operating system.
Global sales of computers, which remained stagnant over the past two years, fell 0.1% last quarter, according to technology research firms Gartner and IDC.
Microsoft also deferred revenue of $540 million on its Windows operating system for a discount offered to customers to update their Windows 7 with the Windows version 8 before its release in October.
Excluding depreciation, but taking into account deferred revenue, Microsoft said it earned $ 0.67 per share for the quarter.
On that basis, Wall Street had expected profit of $ 0.62 per share, according to Thomson Reuters.
Quarterly sales were slightly below analysts’ average forecast of 18.1 million.
The company’s shares rose 1.7% in after-hours market after finishing at 30.67 dollars on the Nasdaq.
Shares of the company have risen 10% so far this year compared with an increase of 14% in the Nasdaq. But they have remained limited to near $30, which the company has not been able to overcome for a long time since the rise of technology stocks in the past twelve years. Excluding the adjustment and deferred income related to the launch of Windows 8 for the current quarter, earnings are 73 cents per share, up from 62 cents as forecast by analysts surveyed by FactSet.