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Azure Will Lift Microsoft's Q1 Intelligent Cloud Revenues

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Shares of Microsoft MSFT edged slightly higher on Monday morning, just a few days before the company is slated to report its fiscal first quarter earnings results. As a leader in the red-hot tech sector, Microsoft will likely garner plenty of attention this week, which means investors need to thoroughly prepare themselves for the software giant's upcoming report.

While a worldwide decline in PC sales once seemed like an insurmountable hurdle for Microsoft, the company now looks poised to dominate the tech landscape for years to come. By adopting a "freemium" model for Windows 10 and focusing its attention on Office 365 and Azure, Microsoft proved that it can adapt to the latest consumer trends while still providing value to shareholders.

Heading into its report date, our current consensus estimates are calling for Microsoft to post earnings of 73 cents per share and revenue of $23.53 billion. These results would represent year-over-year growth rates of -4.5% and +15.0%, respectively.

Microsoft is facing tough comparisons on the bottom line, but its top line growth is impressive. Furthermore, the stock is up nearly 27% year-to-date and currently sports a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The company is also a consistent earnings over performer, having met or surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in five consecutive quarters.

Of course, earnings and revenue are just two of the many things investors will be looking at when Microsoft reports on Thursday. Luckily, we can use our non-financial metrics estimates to get a better idea of how Microsoft performed in its key divisions.

These important stock drivers are from our exclusive non-financial metrics consensus estimate file. These estimates are updated daily and are based on the independent research of expert stock analysts. Learn more here>>>

One unit that investors will be interested in is Microsoft's Intelligent Cloud segment. This unit includes Azure, the company's cloud computing platform that builds, deploys, and manages applications and web services through the company's own network of data centers.

We expect Azure to be a key growth catalyst for the Intelligent Cloud division this quarter. According to our latest consensus estimate, Intelligent Cloud's total revenues are projected to gain 5.9% to hit $6.76 billion. Last quarter, Intelligent Cloud outpaced our estimates and posted a year-over-year growth rate of 10.8%.

For more stock-moving estimates ahead of Microsoft's Q1 report, check out our full guide: 3 Key Estimates for Microsoft's Q1 Earnings Report

And make sure to check back here for our full analysis of Microsoft's actual results later this week!

Want more stock market analysis from this author? Make sure to follow @ Ryan_McQueeney on Twitter!

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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