Microsoft Azure grows over 90 percent

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Microsoft Azure grows over 90 percent

Microsoft reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit on Wednesday, helped by robust demand for its cloud computing services and flagship Azure product, which has recorded dramatic growth over several quarters.

Microsoft took a US$13.8 billion charge in the second quarter that resulted in a loss, but excluding items it earned 96 cents per share, beating analysts' average expectation of 86 cents.

Revenue climbed 12 percent to US$28.92 billion, beating analysts’ expectations of US$28.40 billion.

Since chief executive Satya Nadella took the helm in 2014, Microsoft's cloud business, which includes products such as Office 365, Dynamic 365 and Azure computing platform, has emerged as a major growth driver.

Revenue from the intelligent cloud segment rose 15.3 percent to US$7.80 billion in the second quarter, including 98 percent growth for Azure. Analysts on average had expected US$7.51 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

This is the 10th consecutive quarter of more than 90 percent revenue growth for Azure, which directly competes with Amazon Web Services.

The company posted a net loss of US$6.30 billion, or 82 US cents per share, in the second quarter ended 31 December, compared to a profit of US$6.27 billion, or 80 US cents per share, a year earlier. 

Shares of the technology giant fell 1 percent in late trade.

Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka. Editing by Bernard Orr

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