Microsoft profit exceeds estimates on sales of Xbox, Windows

Microsoft Corp., the world's largest software maker, posted a second-quarter profit that surpassed analysts' estimates on sales of its Xbox 360 game console and Windows programs for personal computers. The company raised profit and sales targets for the year. Net income in the period ended Dec. 31 rose 79 percent to $4.71 billion, or 50 […]

Microsoft Corp., the world's largest software maker, posted a second-quarter profit that surpassed analysts' estimates on sales of its Xbox 360 game console and Windows programs for personal computers. The company raised profit and sales targets for the year.

Net income in the period ended Dec. 31 rose 79 percent to $4.71 billion, or 50 cents a share, from $2.63 billion, or 26 cents, a year earlier, the company said in a statement today. That beat the 46-cent average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales climbed 30 percent to $16.4 billion.

PC sales rose more than Microsoft forecast, bolstering orders for Windows and Office programs. Holiday purchases of the Xbox 360 also fueled revenue as shoppers bought the console to play the "Halo 3'' shooting game, unavailable on rival systems such as Nintendo Co.'s Wii.

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