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Microsoft reports robust growth in earnings powered by cloud products

US software and online service leader Microsoft Thursday reported third-quarter earnings in fiscal year 2018 hitting $26.8 billion, a robust growth beyond analyst expectations driven by its Microsoft Cloud products.

In a report about the financial results for the Q3 period ending on March 31, 2018, Microsoft said revenue from its Azure cloud computing service grew 93 percent during the quarter

The U.S. hi-tech company based in Redmond of the US western state of Washington reported a net profit of $7.4 billion, or 95 cents a share for the third quarter.

Its revenue grew by more than 15 percent year-on-year, and profits went up 35 percent.

Microsoft said its operating income rose 23 percent to reach $8.3 billion in the Q3 period.

The company said it returned $6.3 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases in the third quarter of fiscal year 2018, an increase of 37 percent.

"Our results in this quarter reflect the trust people and organizations are placing in the Microsoft Cloud," said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft.

"We delivered double-digit revenue and operating income growth driven by 58 percent growth in our commercial cloud revenue," said Amy Hood, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Microsoft.

Microsoft said its "commercial cloud," which contains Azure, Office 365, Dynamics 365 and other cloud services, had registered 6 billion dollars in revenue in the fiscal third quarter, up 58 percent year-on-year and up 13 percent sequentially.

The company has about 30.6 million Office 365 consumer subscribers in the third quarter of the fiscal year of 2018.

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