Microsoft stock drops as Azure growth slows, earnings top estimates

Microsoft (MSFT) reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday that topped Wall Street's estimates for earnings per share and revenue.

The tech giant reported Azure and other cloud services revenue growth of 26% year-over-year for the quarter, down 1 percentage point from the quarter prior. Azure growth has declined sequentially every quarter since at least Q3 2022 and remains in investor focus as companies trim capital expenses amid rising interest rates.

For the fiscal year 2023, Microsoft's revenue increased 7%, the lowest rate of annual growth since 2017.

Here are the most important numbers from the report compared to what analysts were expecting, as compiled by Bloomberg.

Revenue: $56.2 billion vs. $55.5 billion expected ($51.87 billion in Q4 2022)

Adj. EPS: $2.69 vs. $2.55 expected ($2.23 in Q4 2022)

Productivity and business processes revenue: $18.29 billion vs. $18.1 billion expected ($16.6 billion in Q4 2022)

Intelligent Cloud revenue: $23.99 billion vs. $23.8 billion expected ($20.8 billion in Q4 2022)

More personal computing revenue: $13.9 billion vs. $13.58 billion expected ($14.46 billion in Q4 2022)

Microsoft stock had rallied into the report, rising more than 43% this year. Shares in after hours trading fell about 2% following the earnings release.

Microsoft has been at the forefront of the AI conversation since announcing a $10 billion investment in the ChatGPT creator, OpenAI, in January. The company has integrated AI into its Bing search product and most recently announced pricing for its new AI product that will integrate into Microsoft 365 products.

The product, dubbed Copilot, is said to be able to summarize users' unread emails, reformat PowerPoint bullets, and write drafts based on outlines on demand, among other functions. Wall Street was bullish on the product's $30 per month pricing, with several analysts boosting their price targets on the stock after the news.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is slated to speak to investors at 5:30 p.m. ET.

“Organizations are asking not only how – but how fast – they can apply this next generation of AI to address the biggest opportunities and challenges they face – safely and responsibly,” said Satya Nadella, chairman and chief executive officer of Microsoft in the release. “We remain focused on leading the new AI platform shift, helping customers use the Microsoft Cloud to get the most value out of their digital spend, and driving operating leverage.”

The Microsoft company logo is displayed at their offices in Sydney, Australia, on Feb. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File)This is a breaking news post and will be updated with additional context.

Josh Schafer is a reporter for Yahoo Finance.

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