Microsoft

Microsoft Corp announced on Wednesday that it made record sales in Q4 of 2020, bringing in $43 billion (€36 billion).

According to its quarterly earnings report, it had an extremely profitable holiday period, making 17 per cent more revenue than it did in the same period in 2019.

The company’s net income increased even more sharply, climbing 33 per cent, to $15.5 billion (€12.8 billion).

One of Microsoft’s best performing areas was Xbox content and services, whose revenue increased 40 per cent, reflecting the launch of the company’s new game console, the XBox One Series X, and changing leisure activities as people spend more time inside.

The company’s revenue from LinkedIn rose 24 per cent, and as reported by Market Watch, to the surprise of even the most optimistic investors, Azure, the company’s cloud-computing offering grew by 50 per cent during the period. 

In the wake of the report, Microsoft shares soared more than three per cent as shares of their main competitors, Amazon and Google sunk by 0.6 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively.

During the quarter, Microsoft says it returned $10 billion (€8.28 billion) to its shareholders in the form of share repurchases and dividends.

Many expected Microsoft to thrive during 2020, as people increasingly were forced to turn to remote working, and indeed, Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, characterised the year as revolutionary, saying “what we have witnessed over the past year is the dawn of a second wave of digital transformation sweeping every company and every industry,”

Microsoft’s Executive Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Business, Judson Althoff characterises 2020 as one of “disruptive change”.

However, Mr Althoff believes that more than this, 2020 was “a year of accelerated innovation across industries and technology trends that, in many cases, were already gathering pace”.

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