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Microsoft exceeds forecast

3rd-quarter net income $1 billion more than last year

– Microsoft’s revenue and net income surged in the latest quarter, but much the gains were due to the recognition of sales that occurred before the launch of the latest versions of Windows and Office, the company said Thursday.

The software company’s net income was $6.1 billion, or 72 cents per share, in its fiscal third quarter, which ended in March. That was up from $5.1 billion, or 60 cents per share, a year ago, and beat the forecast of analysts polled by FactSet, at 68 cents.

Adjusting for deferred revenue and a fine levied by the European Commission, Microsoft Corp. earned 65 cents per share.

Revenue was $20.5 billion, up 18 percent from a year ago and matching analyst forecasts. Adjusted for deferred revenue, it rose 8 percent.

Microsoft shares rose 55 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $29.34 in extended trading, after the report’s release.

Microsoft said Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein is leaving at the end of the fiscal year, in June. He has been in his current role for four years and at the company for 11 years. The company plans to name a new CFO from its finance team in the next few weeks.

Microsoft’s Windows division posted a 23 percent increase in revenue to $5.7 billion, but adjusting for the recognition of deferred revenue related to the launch of Windows 8, revenue was flat.

Microsoft launched Windows 8 in October, hoping to make PCs work more like tablets. But the reception has been mixed, and research firm IDC said last week that Windows 8 was partly to blame for a record 14 percent drop in global PC shipments in the January to March quarter, as consumers found the new interface daunting.

At the company’s largest division, Business, revenue rose 8 percent from a year ago to $6.3 billion. The increase was 5 percent adjusting for pre-sales of the new Office suite.

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