Microsoft Corp. said today its profit in the last quarter plunged 29% because of weak computer sales, ending a fiscal year in which the software maker's revenue fell for the first time since the company went public in 1986. The results reflect how Microsoft's fortunes are tied to the PC industry, which is expected to sell fewer computers this year than last—the first such decline since 2001.
Microsoft's earnings in the last quarter, which ended June 30, sank to $3.05 billion, or 34 cents per share. In the same period last year, it earned $4.3 billion, 46 cents per share. Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell said the company did well in the fourth quarter, given the economy, and he struck an optimistic note for the future. "At least we are seeing signs now of the bottom," he said.