Microsoft shares rally as it shrugs off tech turmoil


Microsoft shares rally as it shrugs off tech turmoil to emerge as Silicon Valley’s ‘Rock of Gibraltar’

Microsoft shares jumped as it brushed off the gloom engulfing Silicon Valley and emerged as its ‘Rock of Gibraltar’.

The tech giant said overall sales in the three months to December 31 were £43billion, up 2 per cent from a year earlier and in line with analyst forecasts.

Microsoft said its cloud computing business drove a ‘strong’ set of results, with sales of its Azure platform up by almost a third.

Microsoft said overall sales in the three months to December 31 were £43bn, up 2% from a year earlier and in line with analyst forecasts

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said Azure’s growth was ‘strong and much better than feared’. 

He added: ‘Clearly there are headwinds abound, but overall Microsoft’s Redmond HQ is a Rock of Gibraltar in this dark economic environment.’

Shares jumped 4 per cent in after hours trading. Despite the climb, they have still fallen 16 per cent in the past twelve months.

Its latest results come amid a wave of layoffs in the tech sector which has cost more than 200,000 jobs in the past year.

The jobs bloodbath was sparked by a sharp slowdown in growth on the back of soaring inflation and interest rates.

Bosses hired thousands of workers as tech firms enjoyed huge success during the pandemic, undergoing major expansion plans. 

But firms including Amazon, Google owner Alphabet, Facebook parent Meta and software firm Salesforce have since made hefty cuts to their workforces. Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter also made major reductions at the end of last year.

And Microsoft last week began a round of layoffs which will affect 10,000 of its 221,000 employees.

The computer software specialist has also been pushing into artificial intelligence, unveiling an investment this week in chat bot firm OpenAI.

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