Financial Exec Says Microsofts Fiscal Picture Bright
Executives are upbeat on the company's fiscal condition and future growth. Microsoft expects to continue to purchase smaller companies, CFO John Connors said.REDMOND, Wash.Microsoft Corp. officials said they felt good about the companys absolute and relative performance over the past few years. The only company that had outperformed it on a compound annual growth rate basis was SAP AG. Taking the podium Thursday to address the financial analysts and media assembled here at the companys campus headquarters, John Connors, Microsofts chief financial officer said Microsoft had also invested very heavily for long-term growth, with some $35 billion going into the client and information worker business, and $12 billion into home and entertainment. "The innovation pipeline we have is broad and full and there is so much product and technology in this pipeline for future years," Connors said, adding that to grow Microsoft had to continue to invest in its long-term and to make some bold bets."
Microsoft expected 2005 to be a tough year and a year of tough comparables, particularly in comparison to fiscal year 2004. The Upgrade Advantage revenue the company recognized in 2004 would not recur in 2005, and that was worth $1 billion. Still, the company expected operating profit growth across all businesses and a positive trend on unearned revenue, he said.