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Thursday, July 19, 2007 - Page updated at 01:59 PM

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Microsoft's 7.3% profit gain meets expectations

Seattle Times technology reporter

Microsoft this afternoon reported net profit of $3.04 billion on $13.37 billion in revenue for the quarter ended June 30, a 7.3 percent profit increase from a year ago, matching Wall Street expectations.

The Redmond software giant said strong sales of its flagship Windows Vista operating system and Office 2007 software during the period, their first full quarter of availability, helped drive overall growth. Revenue was up 13.3 percent from the year-ago period.

Microsoft took a one-time $749 million charge against its net profit — 8 cents a share — related to hardware problems and an associated warranty extension on the company's Xbox 360 video game console.

Fiscal fourth quarter earnings per share, accounting for the charge, were 31 cents, up from 28 cents last year. Not including the charge, earnings per share came in at 39 cents, matching the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson First Call.

Ahead of the earnings announcement, Microsoft stock gained 59 cents, or 1.9 percent, to close at a 52-week high of $31.51 in regular trading today on the Nasdaq market. Shares continued to climb in after-hours trading.

For the 2007 fiscal year, Microsoft posted profit of $14.07 billion, or $1.42 a share, on $51.12 billion in revenue. Net profit was up 11.7 percent from $12.6 billion in fiscal 2006. Revenue was up 15.5 percent from $44.28 billion in the same period.

The company also issued guidance for the current quarter, which ends Sept. 30. Executives are aiming for revenue of $12.4 billion to $12.6 billion; operating income of $5 billion to $5.2 billion; and earnings per share of 38 cents to 40 cents.

It also revised upward its forecasts for the full 2008 fiscal year. Executives now expect full-year revenue of $56.8 billion to $57.8 billion; operating income of $22.2 billion to $22.7 billion; and earnings per share of $1.69 to $1.73.

Company executives were schedule to host a conference call with financial analysts to discuss the fourth quarter and full-year results at 2:30 p.m.

Benjamin J. Romano: bromano@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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