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Microsoft 3Q profit falls 11 per cent

Microsoft's net profit for the three months ended March 31 falls to $4.39 billion from $4.93 billion in the same period last year.

business Updated: Apr 25, 2008 11:28 IST

Microsoft Corp said its fiscal third-quarter profit fell 11 per cent from a year earlier, when the software maker reported more than $1 billion in deferred revenue tied to delays in the launch of the Windows Vista operating system.

Microsoft said its net profit for the three months ended March 31 fell to $4.39 billion, or 47 cents per share, from $4.93 billion, or 50 cents per share, in the same period last year.

The results still beat Wall Street's expectations. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial forecast a profit of 44 cents per share.

But investors, chewing over the company's guidance and a drop in sales in the division that produces the flagship Office productivity programs, sent shares down $1.43, or 4.5 per cent, to $30.37 in after-hours trading.

Earlier in the day, the stock had gained 35 cents, or 1.1 per cent, to close at $31.80.

Revenue edged up to $14.45 billion from $14.4 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts were looking for $14.4 billion in sales.

"Despite a difficult economic environment, it was a very good performance," said Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell in an interview.

Stronger-than-expected PC shipments in the quarter could not offset the $1.67 billion in deferred Vista revenue booked in the 2007 quarter. Sales in the division responsible for Windows fell 24 per cent to $4.