Microsoft Sees Profit Up 13 to 18 Pct Next Year

 
 
By Reuters -  |  Posted 2008-04-24
 
 
 

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) forecast on Thursday next year's earnings to rise between 13 percent and 18 percent, predicting continued strength from its main software businesses as it aims to bolster its Web unit with an acquisition of Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O: Quote, Profile, Research).

For the March quarter, Microsoft posted a fall in quarterly profit from a year ago when the software maker got a one-time earnings bump from revenue deferred by the delays in releasing upgrades to its Windows and Office software.

The world's largest software maker reported results two days before a deadline set by Chief Executive Steve Ballmer for Yahoo's board to accept Microsoft's $44.1 billion unsolicited takeover offer or face a proxy fight.

Microsoft projected earnings per share in its 2009 fiscal year starting in July to be in a range of $2.13 to $2.19 per share versus a forecast range of earnings of $1.86 to $1.89 per share this year. It called for revenue in a range of $66.9 billion to $68.0 billion next year.

Wall Street analysts, on average, are forecasting Microsoft to earn $2.10 per share in fiscal 2009, with estimates ranging from $2.00 to $2.20 per share, on revenue of $66.5 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

(Reporting by Daisuke Wakabayashi; Editing by Braden Reddall)