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Analysis: Microsoft Post-Earnings Conference Call (Premium)

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Microsoft has historically cherry-picked the data it chooses to share with the public at each earnings announcement, and this past quarter was no different. But the software giant also hosts a post-earnings conference call with analysts and press each quarter, and it usually reveals a bit more data during that call. Here’s what I learned and inferred from this quarter’s post-earnings conference call, which mostly consisted of “highlights” from Microsoft CEO and chairman Satya Nadella and CFO Amy Hood.

Nadella started off praising Microsoft Azure, which he described as a “distributed computing fabric---across the cloud and the edge---to help every organization build, run, and manage mission-critical workloads anywhere.” Analysts seem stuck on the fact that Azure---now a mature, 13-year-old offering---can no longer maintain its once-heady 70 percent growth rates. But Azure grew at 40 percent this past quarter and is the primary driver behind Microsoft’s biggest business, by far, Intelligent Cloud.

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