Like many big tech companies, Microsoft is preparing for the worst after announcing plans to lay off 10,000 employees in the upcoming third quarter. It turns out that the company's second quarter was a mixed bag: It earned $52.7 billion in revenue, which was up 2 percent from last year, but a slight miss from the $52.9 billion analysts expected. Profits also fell by 12 percent to $16.4 billion, a trend that may continue throughout the year.
Despite the faltering PC market, Microsoft has been riding high on cloud revenues for years, and that seems to be continuing. its intelligent cloud business was up 18 percent from last year, reaching $21.5 billion. Microsoft's belt tightening didn't stop the company from potentially investing $10 billion more in ChatGPT creator OpenAI, yet another sign that AI is going to play a major role in its future projects. The company plans to add ChatGPT to its Azure OpenAI service soon, and it's reportedly planning to integrated that technology in Bing.
Microsoft's More Personal Computing division, which includes Windows, Xbox and PC hardware, fell by 19 percent year-over-year, hitting $14.2 billion. That's the direct result of the PC market downturn. The company says Windows revenue to manufacturers fell by 39 percent, while Xbox content and services was also down by 12 percent. Devices revenue also dropped by 39 percent — it turns out Surface devices weren't in huge demand over the holidays.
"The surprisingly strong performance in Microsoft’s key Azure cloud business was enough to ease worries surrounding a steeper deceleration path on cloud optimizations, sending the stock higher," said Jesse Cohen, senior analyst at Investing.com. "Tech investors are relieved to see that the slowdown across Microsoft’s key cloud business was not as bad as feared."