Microsoft’s Results Mixed

Microsoft reported quarterly earnings that were in line with Wall Street estimates late Thursday, but the company’s sales came in a little light of forecasts.

The software giant’s earnings of 33 cents a share met estimates, after backing out a 1-cent tax benefit. But sales of $11.84 billion came in shy of $11.96 billion forecasts.

The company’s March quarter guidance of $10.9-$11.2 billion revenues and 32-33 cent earnings were in line with estimates, with revenues potentially better than expected.

Microsoft reported strong enterprise desktop and server demand. Server and Tools revenues were up 14%, with SQL Server sales growing more than 20%. Xbox manufacturing constraints appeared to be behind the revenue miss and were largely expected.

Shares of Microsoft climbed 2% after hours.

Also after the close, Broadcom and KLA-Tencor beat estimates. VeriSign met estimates, and SanDisk beat but said seasonal retail softness would lead to price cuts.

Stocks surged Thursday, following an overseas rally on strong results from Sony and Siemens , as investors shook off weak results from Nokia , Qualcomm and Juniper . Strong earnings from Caterpillar and Honeywell and better than expected durable orders also helped fuel the rally.

The Nasdaq surged 22 to 2283, the S&P 500 rose 9 to 1273, and the Dow gained 99 to 10,809. Volume rose to 2.86 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.47 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 21-11 on the NYSE, and 20-9 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 69% on the NYSE, and 67% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 299-38 on the NYSE, and 246-29 on the Nasdaq.

Novellus , Cypress , Tellabs , Intersil , LSI , National Instruments and Kulicke and Soffa rose on their results.

PMC-Sierra , Unisys , Lightbridge and Sanmina fell on their earnings reports.

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