Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) Thursday reported a higher quarterly net profit as the modest performance of the software giant's core businesses was supplemented by the $847 million sale of its Expedia online travel unit.

For its third fiscal quarter ended March 31, Microsoft said its net profit was $2.74 billion, or 49 cents a share, up 12 percent from $2.45 billion, or 44 cents a share, a year earlier.

The Redmond, Washington-based company had been expected to show net earnings of between 49 cents and 52 cents per share, with an average estimate of 51 cents a share, according to analysts polled by Wall Street tracking firm Thomson Financial/First Call.

Microsoft's revenue was $7.25 billion, below expectations of about $7.34 billion, but 13 percent higher than the $6.4 billion a year earlier .

The net profit included $847 million, or 15 cents a share, from the sale of Microsoft's online travel subsidiary Expedia Inc. to media giant USA Networks Inc.