Microsoft blames economic woes for miss

·2-min read

Microsoft has reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $US16.7 billion ($A24.1 billion), or $US2.23 per share, falling short of analyst expectations for $US2.29 per share -- a rare disappointment from the tech giant that has consistently beaten Wall Street expectations in recent years.

It posted revenue of $US51.9 billion in the April-June period, up 12 per cent from last year.

Analysts had been looking for revenue of $US52.94 billion, according to FactSet.

The company blamed a number of "evolving macroeconomic conditions and other unforeseen items" for affecting its financial performance including production shutdowns in China, a deteriorating personal computer market and the war in Ukraine that led Microsoft to scale down its operations in Russia.

The company had already lowered its profit and sales estimates in early June based on what it described as "unfavourable" changes in the foreign exchange rate as the US dollar surged.

A tough season for computer sales - blamed on supply chain disruptions and geopolitical instability - is also putting pressure on Microsoft's personal computing business, which relies on licensing revenue from PC manufacturers who install its Windows operating system on their products.

Sales from those licences dropped 2 per cent from the same time last year, Microsoft reported on Tuesday.

That - along with a 6 per cent drop in sales of Microsoft's Xbox gaming-related content - dragged down the company's broader personal computing business segment, which grew just 2 per cent to $US14.4 billion for the quarter.

The market research firm Gartner recently said global PC shipments declined 12.6 per cent in the second calendar quarter of 2022 from the same time last year, the sharpest decline in nine years.

Another report by the International Data Corporation estimates PC shipments declined 15.3 per cent during that April-June period, the second consecutive quarter of lower shipments after two years of growth.

Microsoft is currently aiming to close on a $US68.7 billion purchase of video game company Activision Blizzard, in what could be the largest-ever tech industry acquisition.

The deal, announced in January, awaits approval from antitrust authorities in the US and the United Kingdom.

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