Microsoft just made it harder to break up the company

It's too early to talk about the return of the juggernaut of yesteryear after one quarter of strong results, but Microsoft's latest financial quarter suggests that -- new CEO or no -- the company is recovering from recent missteps.

"In summary, we had a very good quarter," CFO Amy Hood said during a conference call Thursday to discuss the company's fiscal second quarter.

That was an understatement. Sales and earnings beat Wall Street handily, and investors snapped up shares in after-hours trading (even after Hood narrowed full-year revenue guidance to between $31.2 billion and $… Read more

Microsoft tops Q2 earnings expectations, still no new CEO

This may turn out to be the first earnings report where Microsoft's actual financial results are a sideshow to the main event.

Microsoft reported fiscal second-quarter results Thursday that were better than expected. The company had sales of $24.5 billion and 78 cents per share. Wall Street had expected revenue of $23.7 billion with a profit of 68 cents a share.

But the bigger news -- who will replace Steve Ballmer as the company's next chief executive? -- remains in the realm of a press release, at least for the foreseeable future. The company had nothing … Read more

New Zynga CEO plans to take Candy Crush's sweet spot

Zynga's new CEO Don Mattrick made it clear during the company's earnings call Thursday that he has high expectations for the company, despite its struggle to retain players and stay relevant in social gaming.

A self-professed Candy Crush fan, Mattrick plans to knock the hit game -- and every other non-Zynga game on the top ten Facebook games list -- off the leaderboard.

"My aspirations is 10 out of 10. It's probably going to take us longer than four quarters to get to that, but I think it's the long-term vision," he said. Zynga … Read more

Zynga beats Street but ditches real-money gambling license

Zynga beat expectations for its second quarter, reporting revenues of just under $231 million, down 31 percent from a year ago, and bookings of $188 million, down 38 percent from a year ago. The company lost 1 cent per share.

Those results, however, were slightly better than Wall Street expected. Analysts had anticipated revenue of about $185 million with a loss of up to 4 cents per share.

Zynga continues to lose users. The company reported 39 million daily active users for Q2, a figure that's down 45 percent from last year. Monthly active user went down by 39 … Read more

Amazon sales up 22% in Q2 but surprise loss sends stock reeling

Amazon on Thursday reported a net loss of $7 million, or 2 cents a share, on $15.7 billion in revenue for its second quarter. The company's sales figure, up 22 percent from the year-earlier quarter, was on target, but analysts had expected a 5 cents-per-share profit.

Also, Amazon said that it anticipates third-quarter revenue between $15.45 billion and $17.15 billion, which falls short of the consensus for $17 billion. At the same time, Amazon projected a net loss for the quarter.

Wall Street does not like these sorts of surprises and the knee-jerk reaction was to … Read more

Intel profit falls as Q3 forecast is lowered

Intel has had a jam-packed quarter with buzz surrounding a potential Internet TV service, a slew of new hardware bits, and a major shuffle at the C-level.

Now it's time to see how all of those changes affected the balance sheet.

The chipmaker reported a second-quarter net income of $2 billion with earnings of 40 cents per share (statement). Non-GAAP earnings were 39 cents per share on a revenue of $12.8 billion.

Wall Street was looking for earnings of 39 cents per share on a revenue of $12.9 billion.

At the helm of the microprocessor giant for less than a quarter, … Read more

At Yahoo, style over substance and the style was, well -- weird

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer gets a B for trying something different: a live video stream of Yahoo's second quarter earnings. She still gets a gentlewoman's C for what remained another uninspiring earnings report. After a year at the helm, Mayer still has a lot of work ahead before she can declare mission accomplished.

In the meantime, she made the show interesting with a certain style, even when that style was at times, well, odd. Think Hans & Franz, but without the yuks.

There's nothing in the rule book that says tradition can't be set aside, but … Read more

Yahoo Q2 sales decline 9% but earnings on target

Yahoo has been racking up a serious credit card bill, so to speak, over the last few months with the acquisition of several social and mobile startups.

But what analysts and investors really want to know is how much did the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based corporation bring in on its second-quarter earnings report, published after the bell on Tuesday.

See also: Yahoo wins motion to declassify documents following NSA PRISM debacle

The self-described "technology company" reported net income of $331 million, or 30 cents per share (statement). Non-GAAP earnings were 35 cents per share on revenue of $1.135 … Read more

Windows 8 contends with Win 7, PC saturation, says IDC

A fully saturated PC market means upgrade cycles are slowing down, stymying consumer uptake of Windows 8, IDC's Bob O'Donnell told CNET in an interview.

What ails the U.S. PC market ails Windows 8 too. That is, saturation and slowing upgrade cycles.

"The U.S. market is pretty much 100 percent saturated. So it is 100 percent dependent on replacement [PCs]," said O'Donnell, a program vice president at IDC, in a telephone interview referencing a report -- which he co-authored -- on second-quarter PC shipments that was released Wednesday.

"If you extend the … Read more

HP's Q2 revenue slips, but Whitman looks ahead

Leading up to Hewlett-Packard's second-quarter earnings report after the bell on Wednesday, analysts were expecting a mixed bag.

They got one.

The tech giant reported earnings of $1.1 billion, or 55 cents per share. Non-GAAP earnings were 87 cents per share on a revenue of $27.6 billion.

Wall Street was expecting earnings of 81 cents a share on revenue of $28 billion for the second quarter.

Out of the six core segments highlighted in the second quarter report, only the software group posted a positive revenue mark as the support team was up by 12 percent annually. … Read more