The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft posted a 32 percent drop in profit, its first decline in quarterly revenue in its 23=year history as a public company. The Windows business division of the company dropped by 16%.
Apple, on the other hand, posted a 15 percent increase in quarterly profit despite lower computer sales. The strong earnings come as consumers continue to buy iPods and iPhones, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In other technology business, Amazon reported a 24 percent jump in the first quarter profit.
The results indicate shoppers are continuing amid the recession to seek out Amazon’s ever-expanding online goods for their lower prices. In January, Amazon also reported strong results for the fourth quarter, fueled by its aggressive discounting, free shipping offers and growth into new sales categories.
The company’s longtime strategy of deep discounting has raised eyebrows on Wall Street as some analysts worry how it will affect the bottom line. But Amazon Thursday reported operating margins for the quarter of 6.6%, excluding stock-based compensation, among the highest in recent years, and a sign it didn’t have to further discount to keep sales climbing.
Ebay, on the other hand, posted a 22 percent drop in first-quarter profit. The Ebay Web site, as well as several other sites the company owns, fell 18 percent in the last year. However, PayPal and Bill Me Later credit service rose 11 percent during the year, as the number of registered users jumped 22 percent.
While PayPal made its early inroads among users on the eBay marketplace, its adoption by outside merchants is now a key growth driver. Francis Juliano, the chief information and marketing officer of Wine Enthusiast Cos., said his company found a 5% increase in new customers to its online sales after adding PayPal to its site last fall. Wine Enthusiast, based in Mount Kisco, New York, has a marketing relationship with PayPal.
EBay, which does half of its business outside of the U.S., also suffered in the first quarter from a drag on revenue from the strong U.S. dollar. Last week, the company moved to strengthen its Asian operations by buyingInc., a South Korean e-commerce company.
Netflix reported a 68 percent jump in its revenue from the first-quarter, which ended March 31.