INTERNATIONAL – Microsoft beat Wall Street estimates for revenue and profit in its first quarter on Wednesday, as more businesses signed up for its Azure cloud computing services and Office 365 software.
Microsoft shares, up more than 21 percent over the past 12 months, rose 2.5 percent in after-hours trading.
Much of Microsoft’s recent growth has been fueled by its cloud computing business, which has benefited from companies rushing to shift their workloads to the cloud to cut data storage and software costs.
Azure has a 18 percent share of the global cloud infrastructure market, making it the second-biggest provider of cloud services after Amazon.com’s Amazon Web Services, according to April estimates by research firm Canalys.
However, the company’s flagship cloud product recorded slower growth from the previous quarter. Revenue growth in the first quarter ended September was 76 percent, down from 89 percent growth in the fourth quarter.