Microsoft Stock Pushes to an All-Time High

Microsoft's quarterly earnings blew past investor expectations on Wednesday, fueled by growth in sales of server software and the company's range of cloud-computing offerings.

The report sent the software company's share price around all-time highs in after-hours trading.

Microsoft has invested billions of dollars in recent years to reshape the company into a seller of on-demand software and computing power over the internet, as its traditional businesses of Windows and out-of-the-box Office stagnate.

Investors have cheered the company's progress in that aim, particularly in an environment in which other business technology giants such as IBM and Oracle have struggled to navigate similar transitions.

Microsoft's "commercial cloud" -- a grouping that includes business sales of Office 365, the Azure network of on-demand computing power, and other business tools -- was on pace in September to bring in $13 billion over the course of a fully year.

That set of businesses "continues to impress," Brent Thill, an analyst with UBS, said in a note to clients.

In after-hours trading, Microsoft shares climbed more than 5 percent, exceeding $60 a share and reaching above the all-time closing highs reached in 1999.

Sales in Microsoft's Intelligent Cloud segment, which includes server software and Azure, grew 8 percent from a year earlier, to $6.4 billion for the three months ended Sept. 30, the first quarter of Microsoft's fiscal 2017.

Productivity and Business Processes, home to the Office franchise, posted a 6 percent rise in sales, to $6.7 billion driven by growing business sales of the Office 365 web-based productivity suite.

Those gains helped make up for another quarter in which Windows, formerly a driver of Microsoft's growth, remained stuck in neutral. Revenue in Microsoft's More Personal Computing segment fell 2 percent, to $9.3 billion.

Overall, the Redmond company earned an adjusted 76 cents a share during the quarter. That was above the 68 in adjusted...

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