Business Briefs – July 19, 2016

As PCs Decline, Microsoft Betting Its Future on the Cloud

Microsoft’s investment in cloud computing is paying off. Its latest financial report shows its Azure cloud-computing business more than doubled in sales from the last quarter.

The company has spent billions of dollars to position itself as the leading alternative to Amazon in selling online computing to internet startups and big corporations, as well as consumers.

The growth in Microsoft’s cloud business, combined with increased revenue from Windows software licenses and other key segments, helped boost Microsoft’s overall sales to $22.6 billion, after adjusting for deferred revenue, for an overall increase of 2 percent from a year ago.

 Philip Morris Int’l 2Q Results Miss Street, Boosts Outlook

NEW YORK (AP) – Philip Morris International Inc.’s second-quarter results missed Wall Street’s expectations as cigarette shipment volume declined. But the seller of Marlboro and other cigarette brands outside the United States also raised its full-year earnings outlook, citing improving currency.

Philip Morris International earned $1.79 billion, or $1.15 per share, for the period ended June 30. That’s down from $1.89 billion, or $1.21 per share, a year earlier. Analysts were expecting $1.21 per share, according to Zacks Investment Research. Revenue fell to $6.65 billion from $6.86 billion, below the $6.8 billion that analysts forecast.