Microsoft beats earnings estimates

Microsoft earned $US2.41 billion in profits on revenue of $5.76 billion in the quarter ended June 30, the company announced this morning.

Earnings per share were 44 cents, narrowly beating the 42 cent average estimate of analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial.

"The Asia region rebounded nicely and our consumer business experienced a significant increase in revenue," said John Connors, chief financial officer at Microsoft, in a statement.

Connors said the company remains guarded about near-term growth of the business PC market but has high expectations for Windows 2000 server products, which include the upcoming SQL Server 2000 and Exchange Server 2000.

For the fiscal year ended in June, Microsoft saw revenue of $22.96 billion, an increase of 16 per cent over last year. Net income was $9.42 billion.

The company posted earnings per share of 40 cents in the same quarter a year ago.

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