Microsoft reports Q1 revenue of $US6.1 billion

Microsoft Corp. on Thursday announced that revenue in the first quarter of its 2002 fiscal year totalled US$6.13 billion, a 6 percent increase over the $5.77 billion reported in the same quarter a year ago. Operating income totaled $2.9 billion for the quarter, which ended Sept. 30. That compared with $2.78 billion in the prior year.

The software giant, which released the earnings report after the markets closed, said net income for the quarter was $1.28 billion. That figure included a $1.24 billion after-tax charge, of which $980 million was an investment loss reported for the quarter.

Diluted earnings for the period were 23 cents per share.

"We reported solid revenue and operating results this quarter, fueled by strong customer demand for our Windows 2000 and .Net Enterprise Server families and our cost-control efforts," said John Connors, chief financial officer at Microsoft. "While we are looking forward to the upcoming launches of Windows XP, Xbox and MSN 7, we also recognize that this is a period of unprecedented global uncertainty that could have an impact on the economy and our business."

The company said that its Windows 2000 Server family had a "stellar" quarter, with sales growth of more than 20 percent.

"We were especially thrilled to see strong customer demand for Windows 2000 Advanced Server, which sold twice as many units as it did the previous year," said Brian Valentine, senior vice president for the Windows division at Microsoft. "These products are a rock-solid foundation for the entire .Net Enterprise Server lineup."

The company is set to deliver two major products during the current quarter. Next Thursday, Microsoft will debut its much-touted Windows XP operating system, and on Nov. 15, it will launch Xbox, a next-generation video game system.

Looking ahead to earnings for the current quarter, which ends Dec. 31, Microsoft officials said they expect revenue to be in the range of $7.1 billion and $7.3 billion, with operating income of about $3 billion and diluted earnings of 49 cents or 50 cents per share.