Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) beat analyst expectations by a penny, turning in earnings per share of $0.76, but declined 3.7% in net income. The company finds itself in a uniquely bifurcated state of existence that is often overlooked by investors. The consumer side of its business -- the side that partnered with Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) to bring us the Windows smartphone -- often gets the ink, but it is its stable enterprise business that often keeps the bills paid. While Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been cagey about sharing precise numbers regarding consumer sales, it continues to impress me. After an extended "quiet" period, in which very little hype came from the software giant, it seems to be gunning for the top spot again and belongs in your core portfolio.
Microsoft's hard numbers Revenue for the quarter came in at $21.46 billion, in line with the consensus at Zack's but below the average of $21.56 billion compiled by Bloomberg. This revenue figure, which is up 2.7% on a year-over-year basis and 34% sequentially, resulted in the $6.38 billion of net income mentioned above. A year ago, net income came in at $6.6 billion, meaning that despite higher revenues, profits dropped by 4% on a year-over-year basis.
Every division, except Entertainment & Devices -- which was down 11% year over year -- grew positively for the company. The Business Division was up 3.4% sequentially, but contracted 9.4% from a year ago. Servers & Tools was up 8.7% year over year, and Online Services grew by 10.8% on the same basis. Overall, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) got a favorable mix from its diversified business lines.
While Windows 8 is a central theme for the quarter, IDC analyst Bob O'Donnell points out that "[o]ne of the biggest stories in 2013 is the business transition from Windows XP to Windows 7. There are a staggering number of machines still running Windows XP. The IT guys have to pull the plug on those and upgrade, and most will do that by buying new machines." This should be good news for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) as it looks to maintain the stability that its enterprise business provides.
The importance of mobile In the simplest terms, as mobile increases in importance, it is vital that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) continue to push into the mobile arena. In a recent interview, Bloomberg's Cory Johnson summarizes this as Microsoft having a smartphone and a tablet that "doesn't suck" so that it can convince IT managers to purchase Windows 8. He acknowledges that while he is not awed by either the Nokia Lumia or the Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Surface, both are solid and his preference for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)'s iOS is largely one of familiarity.