Microsoft Reports Lower Quarterly Earnings

SEATTLE (The Seattle Times/TNS) -

Microsoft ended 2014 on a mixed note, earning a profit that met the expectations of Wall Street analysts but came in well below the previous year as the company dealt with restructuring charges and an income-tax hit.

The company, based outside Seattle in Redmond, Washington, on Monday reported a profit of 71 cents a share during the three months ended Dec. 31, below the 78 cents a share the company earned in the same period a year earlier. The results met the expectations of financial analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Charges related to the 18,000 layoffs Microsoft announced in July and an income-tax charge as a result of an Internal Revenue Service audit lowered the company’s profit by a combined 6 cents a share, the company said.

Revenue for the quarter was $26.5 billion, the company said, beating expectations for $26.3 billion. Microsoft’s net income was $5.8 billion, down 11 percent from the same quarter a year earlier.

Shares closed down 0.4 percent at $47.01 on Monday.

Through Monday’s close, the stock had gained 28 percent in the last year as investors cheered Microsoft’s rounds of cost-cutting and generally higher-than-expected profits during CEO Satya Nadella’s first year at the helm.