Huge write-off puts crater-sized dent in firms incomePublish date: 20 July 2012 by Hanleigh Daniels
Redmond-based software giant Microsoft has announced its Q4 and full year financial results, which saw the company posting a record quarterly revenue of $18.06 billion. This is up from Q4 2011’s $17.37 billion, but operating income for the quarter was just $192 million, compared to $6.2 billion the previous year.
Microsoft did suffer a significant net loss of $492 million over the last three months as a result of a massive write-off charge of $6.19 billion. This charge was made for “the impairment of goodwill”, as the firm wrote off the $6.3 billion value of aQuantive, an online advertising agency it acquired in 2007.
Another factor for the disappointing operating income figure was the deferral of $540 million of revenue relating to the Windows Upgrade Offer, as customers who buys a new Windows 7-operating PC before February 2013 have the option to upgrade to the upcoming Windows 8 OS at a heavily reduced price ($14.99, around R125).
When it comes to the fiscal full year 2012 results, Microsoft’s revenue amounted to $73.72 billion, whilst the firm’s operating income was $21.76 billion.
A few prominent division highlights
Redmond’s server and tools business revenue increased by 13% for Q4 and 12% for the full year. It is expected to grow as Windows Server 2012 becomes available during September.
The Microsoft Business Division revenue grew 7% for Q4 and 7% for the full year on the back of strong Office 2010 sales. Microsoft revealed that Office is now installed on over one billion PCs around the world. Earlier this week, the firm also unveiled the next iteration of its productivity suite, Microsoft Office 2013.
Microsoft’s Windows and Windows Live Division revenue declined by 13% within Q4 and 3% for the full year. Windows 7’s adoption continued to increase amongst Redmond’s corporate clientele, with more than 50% of global enterprise desktop PCs now operating on Windows 7. The company revealed that its Windows 8 desktop and tablet operating system will release to manufacturing (RTM) during August of this year and will then become generally available on 26 October 2012.
After the Xbox 360 gaming console held the title of top-selling gaming console Stateside for 18 consecutive months, Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Division’s revenue increased by 20% for the quarter and 8% for the full year.
“We delivered record fourth quarter and annual revenue, and we’re fast approaching the most exciting launch season in Microsoft history,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. “Over the coming year, we’ll release the next versions of Windows, Office, Windows Server, Windows Phone, and many other products and services that will drive our business forward and provide unprecedented opportunity to our customers and partners.”
Peter Klein, CFO of Microsoft added: “The combination of solid revenue growth and rigorous cost discipline drove double-digit operating income growth for the quarter, adjusting for the goodwill impairment and deferred revenue. We are focusing our resources in strategic areas that will deliver shareholder value and long-term growth opportunities.”
In related news, Nokia recently released its interim financial report for Q2 2012, revealing improved net sales of €7.5 billion for the quarter, but an operating loss of €826 million.