SEATTLE – Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) posted a 5 percent rise in quarterly profit Thursday, boosted in part by the launch of the Xbox 360 game console and SQL Server 2005 corporate database software program.
Earnings were in line with Wall Street expectations, although revenue was light. The current-quarter outlook was roughly in line with expectations and shares rose 1.4 percent to $26.87 on Inet.
The world's largest software maker said net income totaled $3.65 billion, or 34 cents per share, in its fiscal second quarter ended Dec. 31, compared to $3.46 billion, or 32 cents per share, a year earlier.
Quarterly revenue rose to $11.84 billion versus sales of $10.82 billion in the year-earlier period.
Analysts had forecast revenue of $11.97 billion in the quarter, according to Reuters Estimates.
Excluding a 1 cent per share tax benefit, earnings were in line with the 33 cent consensus of analysts polled by Reuters Estimates.
During the quarter, Microsoft launched the Xbox 360 and SQL Server 2005, the first in a series of crucial product launches over the next few quarters for the software giant, but concerns about soft PC demand tempered expectations for its results.
Microsoft forecast current-quarter earnings of 32 cents to 33 cents per share, compared with the analyst consensus of 33 cents, and revenue was projected at $10.9 billion to $11.2 billion, compared with a consensus view of $11.0 billion.
The new product launches, including the next version of its flagship Windows operating system, stand at the core of Microsoft's efforts to revive a stock that has underperformed against every major stock index since the start of 2003.
Microsoft shares have risen 7 percent since the company announced fiscal first-quarter results on Oct. 27, compared to an 8 percent increase on the S&P Information Technology index .