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Microsoft (MSFT) reports 34% revenue growth for Xbox content & services driven by Game Pass

Microsoft is out with earnings results, and one of the highlights is the strength of Xbox Game Pass subscriptions.


Microsoft has had an amazing few years of earnings results, and today the company announced some more impressive numbers. One aspect of interest to Shacknews readers is certainly the success of the company's Xbox Game Pass subscription service. Overall gaming revenue at Microsoft grew $1.2 billion from Q3 2020, driven by the success of Xbox Game Pass and tremendous sales of new Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles. 

Here's some of the more important line items from Microsoft's Q3 2021 earnings release (Microsoft doesn't use a calendar year):

  • Revenue was $41.7 billion (up 19%)
  • Operating income was $17 billion  (up 31%)
  • Diluted earnings per share was $2.03 GAAP and $1.95 non-GAAP, (up 45% and 39% respectively)
  • GAAP results include a $620 million net income tax benefit

“Over a year into the pandemic, digital adoption curves aren’t slowing down. They’re accelerating, and it’s just the beginning,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft. “We are building the cloud for the next decade, expanding our addressable market and innovating across every layer of the tech stack to help our customers be resilient and transform.”

“The Microsoft Cloud, with its end-to-end solutions, continues to provide compelling value to our customers generating $17.7 billion in commercial cloud revenue, up 33% year over year," said Amy Hood, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Microsoft.

Business Highlights

Revenue in Productivity and Business Processes was $13.6 billion and increased 15% (up 12% in constant currency), with the following business highlights:

  • Office Commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 14% (up 10% in constant currency) driven by Office 365 Commercial revenue growth of 22% (up 19% in constant currency)
  • Office Consumer products and cloud services revenue increased 5% (up 2% in constant currency) and Microsoft 365 Consumer subscribers increased to 50.2 million
  • LinkedIn revenue increased 25% (up 23% in constant currency)
  • Dynamics products and cloud services revenue increased 26% (up 22% in constant currency) driven by Dynamics 365 revenue growth of 45% (up 40% in constant currency)

Revenue in Intelligent Cloud was $15.1 billion and increased 23% (up 20% in constant currency), with the following business highlights:

  • Server products and cloud services revenue increased 26% (up 23% in constant currency) driven by Azure revenue growth of 50% (up 46% in constant currency)

Revenue in More Personal Computing was $13.0 billion and increased 19% (up 16% in constant currency), with the following business highlights:

  • Windows OEM revenue increased 10%
  • Windows Commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 10% (up 7% in constant currency)
  • Xbox content and services revenue increased 34% (up 32% in constant currency)
  • Search advertising revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs increased 17% (up 14% in constant currency)
  • Surface revenue increased 12% (up 7% in constant currency)

Microsoft returned $10.0 billion to shareholders in the form of share repurchases and dividends in the third quarter of fiscal year 2021, an increase of 1% compared to the third quarter of fiscal year 2020.

Xbox appears to be alive and well, which is truly amazing when you look at how far the embattled Microsoft division has come since Phil Spencer took over. He chatted with our own David Craddock last year about launching Xbox Series X. Check out our exclusive Phil Spencer interview, in case you missed it.

It's great to see Xbox Game Pass driving such tremendous growth, and the 232% sales growth in the Xbox hardware division is also very impressive, Today's results are certainly bullish for Xbox fans, but Microsoft shareholders appear to be taking some gains. Why? Because life is hard sometimes. Microsoft's stock (MSFT) has had a huge run over the past few years, and some afterhours profit-taking shouldn't scare anyone away from this quality company that is truly firing on all cylinders. 

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From The Chatty
    • reply
      April 27, 2021 2:51 PM


    • reply
      April 27, 2021 2:55 PM

      "Captain Business
      Stonk Market Expert

      Greatest Editor Ever."

      • reply
        April 27, 2021 3:00 PM

        Dude, mwtbc, just suck it up and come back

        • reply
          April 27, 2021 4:15 PM

          he will return once he has walked the Path of Exile

    • reply
      April 27, 2021 3:14 PM

      Dragon Quest Builders on GamePass next week, supposedly. Gonna be dope.

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        April 27, 2021 3:16 PM

        Both of the Builders games are solid fun.

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          April 27, 2021 3:17 PM

          I just wish 2 didn't talk SO. DAMN. MUCH. My god, it's like every single NPC can't wait to tell you their entire life story in chapter format every time you talk to one.

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            April 27, 2021 3:18 PM

            But even then, it's still a great game once you get to the first story island.

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              April 27, 2021 4:26 PM

              And they're even better if you played Dragon Warrior/Quest I and II, as they directly build off those narratives.

              They're totally fine without that - they explain enough of what's going on that it still works - but there are a lot of nods if you're a long time fan.

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