The figure was one of the stats in Microsoft’s fourth-quarter earnings report, which was well received by investors. Microsoft shares were up 5 percent this morning at $55.99.
It’s hardly surprising to hear Azure is on a roll. The cloud service has doubled its sales every quarter this fiscal year.
The cloud‘s strength is mirrored in the results of competitors. IBM, which reported its earnings earlier this week, was boosted significantly by the cloud. And of course, Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to rack up impressive numbers, having reached a $10 billion run rate.
Friends in the Cloud
Like IBM, Microsoft is undergoing a companywide transition led by cloud.
“I do believe that every conversation that we’re having with customers is cloud-led,” CFO Amy Hood said during Microsoft’s conference call with investors yesterday.
In bringing customers to Azure, Microsoft can play off of the relationships and partnerships it already has with large enterprises. Earlier this week, the company announced new Azure contracts with Boeing and GE. In the latter case, GE announced that Predix, its prized platform for the Internet of Things (IoT), is going to be available on Azure. (Other clouds supporting Predix include AWS and Oracle.)
In addition to hosting applications on Azure, Boeing and GE will be using Microsoft as a software distribution partner, an arrangement that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said is becoming more common.
“Pretty much anyone who is a customer of Azure is also in some form an ISV [independent software vendor],” Nadella said on yesterday’s call. “They all are taking some of their assets and converting them into SaaS applications on Azure. And that’s something that we will in fact have distribution agreements with.”
Microsoft doesn’t specify Azure’s revenues. The entire Intelligent Cloud division reported revenues of $6.7 billion for the fourth quarter, compared with $6.3 billion a year ago.
But that division includes products tied to normal servers — you know, the non-cloud kind where you open a box and physically install something on-premises. That part of Microsoft’s business is declining, so officials said Intelligent Cloud’s revenues will fall to $6.1 billion to $6.3 billion in the first quarter.
Running the Numbers
For its fourth quarter, which ended June 30, Microsoft reported revenues of $20.6 billion, compared with revenues of $22.2 billion in the same quarter a year ago.
Non-GAAP revenues were $22.6 billion, so by that metric, Microsoft did show year-over-year growth.
Fourth-quarter net income was $3.1 billion, or 39 cents per share. That compares to last year’s net losses of $3.2 billion, or 40 cents per share — numbers that include a $7.5 billion write-down of Nokia assets.
Non-GAAP earnings of 69 cents per share. Analysts polled by Bloomberg were expecting 58 cents.