Microsoft Beats Big, But Amazon Warns

Microsoft posted its strongest quarter in years after the close on Thursday, but Amazon dampened spirits somewhat with lukewarm guidance.

Microsoft’s earnings of 34 cents a share beat estimates by a nickel, and revenues of $9.18 billion beat $8.67 billion forecasts. The company also raised forward guidance, and the stock gained 5% after hours.

Microsoft is known for understating its results, but the company took the unusual step of trumpeting its earnings report.

“Broad-based demand and solid execution across all our businesses drove outstanding results for the quarter,” CFO John Connors said in a statement. “All of our businesses met or exceeded our expectations this quarter, with the Client, Information Worker and Server and Tools businesses growing a combined 17%. Overall corporate IT spending continued to improve, and we expect to see healthy demand through the end of our fiscal year.”

Also after the close, beat estimates, but the company’s second-quarter guidance was so wide that investors took it as a sign that the company may disappoint. Amazon shares slipped a point after hours.

Also after the close, Corning , Broadcom , RSA , Brooks Automation , Western Digital , Overstock , VeriSign , Scientific Atlanta and TriQuint beat estimates. Emulex warned, and PeopleSoft missed estimates.

Stocks surged during the day on a relatively tame wholesale inflation report and blow-out earnings from eBay , which soared 10% on the news.

The Nasdaq surged 37 to 2032, the S&P 500 rose 15 to 1139, and the Dow gained 143 to 10,461. Volume rose to 1.82 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.17 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 24-8 on the NYSE, and 20-10 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 80% on the NYSE, and 72% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 182-94 on the NYSE, and 143-31 on the Nasdaq.

Qualcomm , Juniper Networks Nextel and eResearch rose on their reports.

KLA-Tencor , , Broadvision and AT&T fell on their results.

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