Microsoft keeps chugging as pandemic continues

The logo of Microsoft is displayed outside the headquarters in Paris, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. As the pandemic raged through the U.S., Microsoft's business continued chugging ahead and beat Wall Street expectations for the last three months of 2020, powered by ongoing demand for its workplace software and cloud computing services as people worked from home. The company on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021 reported fiscal second-quarter profit of $15.5 billion, up 33% from the same period last year. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, file)
The logo of Microsoft is displayed outside the headquarters in Paris, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. As the pandemic raged through the U.S., Microsoft's business continued chugging ahead and beat Wall Street expectations for the last three months of 2020, powered by ongoing demand for its workplace software and cloud computing services as people worked from home. The company on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021 reported fiscal second-quarter profit of $15.5 billion, up 33% from the same period last year. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, file) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

REDMOND, Wash. – As the pandemic raged through the U.S., Microsoft's business continued chugging ahead and beat Wall Street expectations for the last three months of 2020, powered by ongoing demand for its workplace software and cloud computing services as people worked from home.

The company on Tuesday reported fiscal second-quarter profit of $15.5 billion, up 33% from the same period last year.

In a statement Tuesday, CEO Satya Nadella called it “the dawn of a second wave of digital transformation sweeping every company and every industry.”

Net income of $2.03 per share beat Wall Street expectations.

The software maker posted revenue of $43.1 billion in the October-December period, up 17% from last year and also beating forecasts.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting Microsoft to earn $1.64 per share on revenue of $40.2 billion for the fiscal quarter.

The coronavirus pandemic sparked a massive shift to the cloud and to Microsoft that won't likely be reversed once the crisis is over, said Daniel Elman, an analyst at Nucleus Research. Consumer-facing businesses were forced to adapt to new ways of engaging with their customers digitally, and many of those businesses looked to Microsoft for the apps and services to ease that shift.

“So many people are already familiar with the Microsoft user interface that it’s a comfortable option," Elman said.