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Microsoft profit, sales rise; results beat Street

Microsoft Corp. reported a fiscal second-quarter profit of $6.56 billion, or 78 cents a share, compared with a profit of $6.38 billion, or 76 cents a share, for the year-earlier period
Revenue rose to $24.52 billion from $21.46 billion
Analysts polled by FactSet on average were expecting the company to report a profit of 68 cents a share, on revenue of $23.67 billion

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Microsoft Corp. said its fiscal second-quarter profit climbed 2.8%, bolstered by strong demand for the company’s new Xbox videogame console.

Results easily topped Wall Street’s revenue and earnings expectations

The Redmond, Wash., software giant is in the midst of major change, searching for a replacement for Chief Executive Steve Ballmer and preparing to plunge deeper in hardware with the pending acquisition of Nokia Corp.’s mobile-phone business.

For the fiscal second quarter ended Dec. 31, revenue rose 14% to $24.52 billion, partly reflecting the release in November of a new Xbox videogame console and a fresh version of Microsoft’s Surface tablet computer ahead of the holidays.

Overall, net income climbed to $6.56 billion, or 78 cents a share, compared with $6.38 billion, or 76 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.

Analysts, on average, estimated Microsoft would post earnings of 68 cents a share on revenue of $23.7 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

The company said its devices and consumer revenue grew 13% to $11.91 billion, while commercial revenue increased 10% to $12.67 billion.

“Our commercial segment continues to outpace the overall market, and our devices and consumer segment had a great holiday quarter,” Ballmer said.