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Microsoft Reaps Rewards of Its Cloud-Computing Business

In a call with analysts, Microsoft’s chief financial officer, Amy Hood, said the company closed the highest number of multimillion-dollar Azure deals to date during the quarter. Ms. Hood also said that for the first time, the revenue Microsoft received from the commercial version of Office 365 — a cloud version of its productivity applications that customers subscribe to — surpassed the revenue the company received from traditional sales of the software.

Over all, for the quarter that ended June 30, net income was $ 6.51 billion, or 83 cents a share, up from $ 3.12 billion, or 39 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier. Microsoft’s revenue rose to $ 23.32 billion from $ 20.61 billion. After adjusting those figures to include deferred revenue from its Windows 10 operating system and other items, Microsoft’s revenue was $ 24.7 billion and 98 cents a share, which exceeded Wall Street forecasts.

The average earnings estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters was 71 cents a share, while the average revenue estimate was $ 24.27 billion. Analysts did not include the tax benefit from Microsoft’s phone business, which amounted to 23 cents a share, in their earnings estimates, so a more accurate comparison with the 71 cents a share forecast was 75 cents.

There are still plenty of Microsoft skeptics who believe that the company has not yet shown the ability to invent new businesses quite the way Apple did with the iPhone and the iPad. Clement Thibault, an analyst at Investing.com, is one of them. He believes that the company’s stock has become too rich for the progress it has shown.

“I’d like to see more initiatives and growth there,” Mr. Thibault said, “instead of pinning all our hopes on cloud.”

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