Microsoft reports record quarterly earnings, remains ahead of Apple

Microsoft published its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2010, and the software company reported revenue of $16.04 billion, a 22% increase over the same period last year, and $340 million ahead of Apple which also had a record-setting quarter.

Apple exceeded Wall Street's estimates and primed suspicion that the company may finally overtake Microsoft in revenue, but Microsoft also beat Wall Street expectations this quarter, so Microsoft remains the leader.

Wall Street estimated that the software giant would record $15.3 billion in revenues, but enterprise uptake of Windows 7 and Office 2010 and strong performance of Windows Server, Xbox 360 and Bing all contributed to the quarterly improvement.
"This quarter's record revenue reflects the breadth of our offerings and our continued product momentum," said Peter Klein, chief financial officer. "The revenue growth, combined with our ongoing cost discipline, helped us achieve another quarter of margin expansion."

Microsoft set records for the full year as well. Revenue was a record high of $62.48 billion, 7% higher than last year, and operating income, net income and earnings per share were up 18%, 29%, and 30% respectively, to $24.10 billion, $18.76 billion and $2.10.

Microsoft is holding its quarterly earnings call in the next few minutes, and we'll update with statements from the company.

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