Microsoft quarterly results

Image source: Microsoft, Rrraum - Shutterstock

What's going on?

Tech titan Microsoft booted up better-than-expected quarterly results late on Thursday, helping its stock rise…

What does this mean?

Microsoft’s total profit was much higher than investors had forecast. The company’s fast-growing cloud computing segment continued its ascent, with sales eclipsing investors’ predictions. And a decision last week from a federal judge stands to improve its prospects further: rival Oracle saw its bid for an open $10 billion US government cloud computing contract thrown out. Microsoft now has a better chance of securing the contract – if it beats market leader Amazon to the punch…

Microsoft’s productivity and business software segment (which includes LinkedIn) also topped investors’ predictions. The writing was on the Word document earlier this month: Microsoft took Pages out of Apple’s playbook and revealed that its Teams product – competitor to messaging startup Slack – had 13 million daily users compared to Slack’s 10 million (tweet this).

Why should I care?

For markets: Microsoft may ctrl the stock market.

Many global investors take their buying and selling cues from the US stock market since it’s the biggest in the world. And as the largest public company in the US, Microsoft has a major influence over the direction of the country’s stock market as a whole. Investors buying Microsoft’s stock after its update helped push the trillion dollar company’s share price 3% higher – and that momentum may help lift stocks elsewhere on Friday.

The bigger picture: Rainclouds over SAP.

Europe’s biggest tech company, SAP, reported a smaller-than-expected increase in its second-quarter profit on Thursday, and its shares fell 6%. Investors might’ve been worried that the tech giant’s plan to invest more heavily in cloud computing wasn’t bearing as much fruit as expected. And that may have prompted more investor questions about the billions SAP spent on cloud-related acquisitions last year, and whether they’ll amount to as much future profit as hoped.

Originally posted as part of the Finimize daily email.

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