Microsoft puts positive spin on sales drop

Executives at an analyst conference argued that the company's performance has been relatively good

Microsoft executives put a rosy glow on the company's prospects and performance at the company's annual financial analysts meeting, despite a recent quarterly report that fell short of revenue expectations by US$1 billion.

"I can't say it's good. We're still down. But on a relative basis, it was a reasonable year, given the context of the environment," said Chris Liddell, Microsoft's chief financial officer.

Last week, Microsoft reported fourth-quarter revenue of US$13.1 billion, while analysts were expecting $14.37 billion.

Liddell and CEO Steve Ballmer tried to distinguish between the aspects of the company's performance that it could control and those it could not. For example, the numbers of PCs that consumers buy is out of Microsoft's control, Ballmer said.

But the company did well in areas that it can control, such as managing operating expenses, Liddell said. "We had great discipline around things that we can control," he said.

Toward the end of the day, with a handful of the top executives on stage, Ballmer let slip his characteristic exuberance after an analyst asked him for sales guidance. He referred to a recent company sales meeting where "people were pumped, man," about the lineup of new Microsoft products.

"We have great prospects on the map, but I'm not going to give you sales guidance or Chris [Liddell] won't let me come to [the financial analysts meeting] next year," he joked. "But I hope you don't sense a lack of enthusiasm."

His optimism was clear, but what's not yet clear is whether that will translate into improved results at the company.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?