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Microsoft profit hurt by Nokia, but revenues jump
by Staff Writers
New York (AFP) July 22, 2014


Apple profit climbs along with iPhone sales
San Francisco (AFP) July 22, 2014 - Apple on Tuesday reported that its quarterly profit climbed with strong iPhone demand, but a decline in iPad tablet sales put a damper on its results.

The California-based company posted a profit of $7.7 billion on revenue of $37.4 billion in the three months period to June 28, an increase of 11.6 percent from a year ago.

Apple said it sold 35.2 million iPhones in the quarter, a rise of nearly 13 percent from the same period a year earlier.

"Our record June quarter revenue was fueled by strong sales of iPhone and Mac and the continued growth of revenue from the Apple ecosystem, driving our highest (earnings per share) growth rate in seven quarters," Apple chief executive Tim Cook said in an earnings release.

Apple also declared a cash dividend of 47 cents per share of common stock to be paid at the close of business on August 11.

Apple shares slipped less than a percent to $94.38 in after-market trades that followed release of the earnings figures.

In a disappointment, Apple said iPad sales fell 9.2 percent from a year ago to 12.27 million, a figure weaker than most analysts had expected.

The soft demand for iPads also hurt revenues, which were below the consensus forecast of nearly $38 billion.

The earnings release, as expected, contained no hint of any new iteration of the popular iPhone despite numerous reports that Apple is preparing versions with a larger display.

A US patent made public on Tuesday bolstered rumors that Apple has designs on a smartwatch.

The patent describes an wrist band, possible with a touch screen, configured to connect wirelessly to a mobile device such as a smartphone.

Disclosure of the patent added fuel to talk that California-based Apple intends to weigh into the blossoming wearable computing market with a smart watch.

Apple has remained tight-lipped about product plans, but Cook has stated repeatedly that impressive new products were in the works, and that he sees the wrist as a preferred spot for a wearable computing gadget.

Nvidia launches tablet for on-the-go gamers
San Francisco (AFP) July 22, 2014 - US computer chip maker Nvidia launched a high-performance tablet Tuesday aimed at gamers who want the convenience of a mobile device.

The Nvidia Shield, with an eight-inch high-definition display, "was built specifically for gamers," according to the California company.

The $299 gadget has an optional $40 cover that can be used as a kickstand. A wireless controller can be added for $60.

"If you're a gamer and you use a tablet, the Nvidia Shield tablet was created specifically for you," said Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia's co-founder and chief executive officer.

"It delivers exceptional tablet performance and unique gaming capabilities to keep even the most avid gamers deeply immersed, anywhere they play."

The company launched a portable gaming device with a smaller screen and integrated controller last year.

The new device allows for streaming of games from a PC desktop or notebook computer, or from the Nvidia cloud.

It also is based on the Android operating system to allow for Web browsing and other tablet features and has a stylus for drawing on the tablet surface.

Microsoft said Tuesday profits took a hit from its newly acquired Nokia phone division but that revenues got a strong lift from cloud services.

The US tech giant's new chief executive Satya Nadella said the results suggested that Microsoft's shift to services amid declining personal computer sales was starting to pay off.

Net profit for the three months ending June 30 dipped seven percent from a year earlier to $4.6 billion, below market expectations.

But revenues grew a strong 17.5 percent, lifted by the cloud services.

"We are galvanized around our core as a productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world, and we are driving growth with disciplined decisions, bold innovation, and focused execution," said Nadella.

"I'm proud that our aggressive move to the cloud is paying off -- our commercial cloud revenue doubled again this year to a $4.4 billion annual run rate."

The earnings came just days after Microsoft announced its biggest job cuts ever with Nadella calling for a new focus at the US tech giant while integrating the Nokia phone division acquired this year.

The company said it would slash 18,000 jobs from its global workforce over the next year, the majority from the Nokia handset unit.

The cuts represent about 14 percent of Microsoft's global payroll of some 127,000. The company will take a charge of between $1.1 billion and $1.6 billion for costs related to the layoffs.

In the latest earnings, Microsoft said revenues from its Windows division rose three percent from a year ago, in a sign of some stabilization in the PC market and upgrades to devices with the newer operating systems.

The company saw a 40 percent jump in advertising revenues from its Bing search engine and gains from subscribers to its online Office 365.

The new Nokia phone division acquired this year added some $2 billion to revenues but dragged on profits, the company said.

The Nokia unit subtracted some $692 million from the Microsoft's bottom line, the company said.

Paul Ausick at 24/7 Wall Street said Microsoft remains dependent on Windows despite claims to the contrary.

"Microsoft's results continue to depend on Windows which in itself is no surprise. What is surprising is how hard it is for Microsoft to make any significant change in its dependence on Windows," he said in a blog post.

Despite the weaker profit, investors appeared encouraged by the increase in revenues. Shares in Microsoft gained 0.2 percent to $44.93 in electronic trading after the results.

Raimo Lenschow, analyst at Barclays, said Microsoft's enterprise strategy "is gaining significant traction"

The company "had another solid quarter in the enterprise, as execution remains solid with customers buying into Microsoft's portfolio of enterprise solutions," he said in a note to clients.

Microsoft completed its takeover of Nokia's phone unit in April in a move that strengthened its position in mobile devices. The cost was around $7.5 billion.

Nadella, who became CEO earlier this year, is seeking to reinvigorate a company that had been the world's largest but which has lagged in recent years as Google and Apple have taken leadership of the tech sector.

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