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Microsoft fiscal 1Q net income rises 51 percent

REDMOND, Wash. — Microsoft Corp. said Thursday that its net income in the latest quarter rose 51 percent, boosted by higher sales of Windows and Office software.

In last year’s quarter, Microsoft deferred some revenue from Windows sales. Had it not done so, net income would have been only 16 percent higher this year in comparison.

For the fiscal first quarter, which ended in September, net income rose to $5.4 billion, or 62 cents per share, from $3.6 million, or 40 cents per share, in the same period last year.

Revenue increased 25 percent to $16.2 billion, from $12.9 billion a year ago.

Microsoft beat Wall Street’s expectations on both counts. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had forecast net income of 55 cents per share on $15.8 billion in revenue.

Microsoft said its results reflect stronger spending by businesses as the economy has improved.

The Windows division’s revenue rose 66 percent to $4.8 billion. Office and other business software brought in $5.1 billion, a 14 percent jump. The group that makes server software reported a 12 percent increase in revenue to $4 billion.

Microsoft’s online revenue, which comes primarily from search advertising, edged up 8 percent to $527 million. That segment widened its operating loss in the quarter to $560 million, however, as the company continued to spend money on chasing Google Inc., the No. 1 Web search provider.

Shares of Microsoft rose 32 cents to $26.60 in after-hours trading. Earlier, the stock added 23 cents to close at $26.28.