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Microsoft Posts Higher 1Q Profit, Sales
Oct 24, 2003
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Microsoft Corp. reported higher profit on a modest rise in revenue, helped by its consumer software business, despite weakness in corporate technology spending.

The software company posted fiscal first-quarter net income of U.S. $2.61 billion, or $0.24 a share, which included equity compensation expense of about $680 million, or $0.6 a share. For the previous year, the company had a net income of $2.04 billion, or $0.19 a share, which included a charge for investment impairments of $291 million, or $0.3 a share, and equity compensation expense of $702 million, or $0.6 a share.

Revenue rose 6.1 percent to $8.22 billion from $7.75 billion a year earlier. Microsoft had forecast revenue between $7.9 billion and $8.1 billion.

"While corporate (technology) spending was slow to improve this quarter, we saw strength across all of our consumer businesses, driving higher than expected revenue for the company," said John Connors, chief financial officer, in prepared remarks.

Microsoft is still trying to show it can make money in two noncore units, video games, and Internet access. Instead of plowing money into new business lines, some argue, the company would better serve shareholders by paying a bigger dividend. (AP)

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