Tech Firms and the Economy

by Randy Guthrie – Microsoft Academic Developer Evangelist

The following are statements made by some of the leading technology firms.  All four recently reported record growth, and cautiously project continued growth despite economic conditions.  When the .com bubble burst in 2001, Microsoft experienced one of the best sales periods of the decade, and we are poised to take advantage of the current situation in a similar manner.  Why? Because Microsoft products perform very well but are generally priced lower than competing technologies.  The message: Students can expect the demand for knowledge of Microsoft tools and technologies to increase over the next 24 months, and the market for those skills to stay strong.  Given the size of the current gap between tech jobs and qualified people, there is no expectation that IT workers will experience any kind of job contraction, although job growth will probably be somewhat lower than last year’s Dept. of Labor forecasts.  As always, possessing knowledge of the latest technologies is the best insurance against job loss.



REDMOND, Wash. — October 23, 2008 — Microsoft Corp. today announced revenue of $15.06 billion for the fiscal quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008, a 9% increase over the same period of the prior year. Operating income, net income and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $6.00 billion, $4.37 billion and $0.48, respectively.

Microsoft showed particular strength in multiyear annuity sales, which grew more than 20% during the quarter from the combined businesses of Client, Microsoft Business Division and Server and Tools.

"Our customers are asking how they can save money and do more with less," said Kevin Turner, chief operating officer at Microsoft. "Microsoft is uniquely positioned to help our customers save money through supplier consolidation, increased productivity, and a low total cost of ownership through the depth and breadth of our product portfolio and solutions."

Microsoft continued to add to its product and services portfolio with innovative offerings such as Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 and the first service update to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.

"In a challenging economic environment, the first-quarter results exhibit the strength and diversity of our business model," said Chris Liddell, chief financial officer of Microsoft.

Business Outlook

Microsoft’s business outlook reflects a balance of risks and the likelihood of a continued economic slowdown. The trends seen late in the first-quarter are now forecasted to continue, whereas previous expectations were for the economy to improve in the second half of the fiscal year. In this economic environment, the company is focused on three main actions; working with customers to provide high value products at the lowest total overall cost of ownership, increasing focus on expense management and targeting investment into the highest priority strategic opportunities.

Microsoft management offers the following guidance for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2008:

  • Revenue is expected to be in the range of $17.3 billion to $17.8 billion.

  • Operating income is expected to be in the range of $6.1 billion to $6.4 billion.

  • Diluted earnings per share are expected to be in the range of $0.51 to $0.53.

    Management offers the following guidance for the full fiscal year ending June 30, 2009:

  • Revenue is expected to be in the range of $64.9 billion to $66.4 billion.

  • Operating income is expected to be in the range of $24.4 billion to $25.5 billion.

  • Diluted earnings per share are expected to be in the range of $2.00 to $2.10.

    Liddell noted that "we feel extremely good about our relative competitive position and our ability to continue outgrowing IT spend. We believe our exceptionally strong cash flow, product pipeline and financial strength will allow us to weather economic conditions well."



    CUPERTINO, California—October 21, 2008—Apple® today announced financial results for its fiscal 2008 fourth quarter ended September 27, 2008. The Company posted revenue of $7.9 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.14 billion, or $1.26 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $6.22 billion and net quarterly profit of $904 million, or $1.01 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 34.7 percent, up from 33.6 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 41 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

    In accordance with the subscription accounting treatment required by GAAP, the Company recognizes revenue and cost of goods sold for iPhone™ and Apple TV® over their economic lives. Adjusting GAAP sales and product costs to eliminate the impact of subscription accounting, the corresponding non-GAAP measures* for the quarter are $11.68 billion of “Adjusted Sales” and $2.44 billion of “Adjusted Net Income.”

    Apple shipped 2,611,000 Macintosh® computers during the quarter, representing 21 percent unit growth and 17 percent revenue growth over the year-ago quarter. The Company sold 11,052,000 iPods during the quarter, representing eight percent unit growth and three percent revenue growth over the year-ago quarter. Quarterly iPhone units sold were 6,892,000 compared to 1,119,000 in the year-ago-quarter.

    “Apple just reported one of the best quarters in its history, with a spectacular performance by the iPhone—we sold more phones than RIM,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We don’t yet know how this economic downturn will affect Apple. But we’re armed with the strongest product line in our history, the most talented employees and the best customers in our industry. And $25 billion of cash safely in the bank with zero debt.”

    “We’re very pleased to have grown revenue 35 percent and to have generated $9.1 billion in cash in fiscal 2008,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO. “Looking ahead, visibility is low and forecasting is challenging, and as a result we are going to be prudent in predicting the December quarter. We are providing a wide range for our guidance, targeting revenue of $9.0 to $10.0 billion and earnings per diluted share between $1.06 and $1.35.”




    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - October 16, 2008 - Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) today announced financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2008.

    "We had a good third quarter with strong traffic and revenue growth across all of our major geographies thanks to the underlying strength of our core search and ads business. The measurability and ROI of search-based advertising remain key assets for Google," said Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google. "While we are realistic about the poor state of the global economy, we will continue to manage Google for the long term, driving improvements to search and ads, while also investing in future growth areas such as enterprise, mobile, and display."
    Q3 Financial Summary
    Google reported revenues of $5.54 billion for the quarter ended September 30, 2008, an increase of 31% compared to the third quarter of 2007 and an increase of 3% compared to the second quarter of 2008. Google reports its revenues, consistent with GAAP, on a gross basis without deducting traffic acquisition costs (TAC). In the third quarter of 2008, TAC totaled $1.50 billion, or 28% of advertising revenues.



    ARMONK, N.Y., October 16, 2008 . . . IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced third-quarter 2008 diluted earnings of $2.05 per share from continuing operations compared with diluted earnings of $1.68 per share in the third quarter of 2007, an increase of 22 percent. Third-quarter income from continuing operations was $2.8 billion compared with $2.4 billion in the third quarter of 2007, an increase of 20 percent. Total revenues for the third quarter of 2008 of $25.3 billion increased 5 percent (2 percent, adjusting for currency) from the third quarter of 2007.

    "Our results demonstrate that the combination of a steady base of recurring revenue and profits, a range of products and services that deliver value to clients worldwide, and a strong and flexible financial foundation give IBM a competitive edge in good times and tough times," said Samuel J. Palmisano, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer.

    "These strengths along with our strategy to manage for productivity in major markets and to invest for growth in emerging countries have enabled IBM to thrive despite an economic environment that no one could have predicted. We remain confident in our full-year 2008 outlook."

    From a geographic perspective, the Americas' third-quarter revenues were $10.5 billion, an increase of 3 percent as reported (2 percent, adjusting for currency) from the 2007 period. Revenues from Europe/Middle East/Africa were $8.9 billion, up 10 percent (4 percent, adjusting for currency). Asia-Pacific revenues increased 6 percent (1 percent, adjusting for currency) to $5.2 billion. OEM revenues were $673 million, down 24 percent compared with the 2007 third quarter. Revenues from the company's growth markets organization increased 13 percent (10 percent, adjusting for currency) and represented 19 percent of geographic revenues.

    Total Global Services revenues grew 8 percent (4 percent, adjusting for currency). Global Technology Services segment revenues increased 8 percent (5 percent, adjusting for currency) to $9.9 billion, with strong growth in Integrated Technology Services. Global Business Services segment revenues increased 7 percent (3 percent, adjusting for currency) to $4.9 billion. IBM signed services contracts totaling $12.7 billion, at actual rates, a decrease of 4 percent ($11.1 billion, adjusting for currency, down 5 percent). Short-term signings increased 13 percent, at actual rates, to $6.1 billion (up 8 percent to $5.2 billion, adjusting for currency). The company ended the third quarter with an estimated services backlog, including Strategic Outsourcing, Business Transformation Outsourcing, Integrated Technology Services, Global Business Services and Maintenance, of $114 billion, adjusting for currency.




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