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How's Xbox Doing? Here Are the Key Takeaways From Microsoft's Earnings

Hardware sales down, game sales up.


Microsoft today reported earnings for the quarter ended September 30, shedding some new light on how the company overall and its various divisions are doing.

Gaming revenue dropped by 5 percent, representing a decrease of $110 million from the same period last year. The downturn was attributed in part to lower Xbox console sales, but helped by stronger game and Xbox Live revenue. Hardware revenue specifically dropped 26 percent, a decrease that Microsoft mainly attributed to fewer consoles sold (Xbox One and Xbox 360 combined) and lower prices of consoles sold. Microsoft no longer shares hard data about how many Xbox consoles it sells.

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The better news for Microsoft was that Xbox game sales and revenue from Xbox Live increased 6 percent, though a dollar figure was not provided. The uptick in money derived from Xbox Live was attributed to more Xbox Live transactions and more revenue per transaction.

Microsoft also confirmed it had 47 million monthly "active" Xbox Live users during the period, which is up from 39 million during the same period last year, but down from the previous quarter's 49 million. Monthly active users means the number of people who logged into Xbox Live in the past 30 days and it counts not only Xbox One, but also Xbox 360 and PC.

Microsoft overall posted revenue of $20.5 billion for the quarter and a profit of $4.7 billion, which are slight increases over the year-ago quarter numbers of $20.4 billion in revenue and $4.6 billion in profit.

"We are helping to lead a profound digital transformation for customers, infusing intelligence across all of our platforms and experiences," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement. "We continue to innovate, grow engagement, and build our total addressable market."

According to BusinessInsider, Microsoft's stock value recently beat its all-time high, set in 1999. Today's earnings came in ahead of expectations.

Microsoft will hold an earnings call today, starting at 2:30 PM PT / 5:30 PM ET to discuss these earnings and answer analyst and investor questions. We'll report back if anything noteworthy comes up.

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