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Microsoft's $4.3 Billion Profit Falls Short; Shares Slide

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Microsoft on Thursday reported fourth-quarter earnings of 46 cents per share, or $4.3 billion, on revenue of $15.84 billion -- up from last year but falling short of analyst estimates.

The earnings rise was boosted by an increase of personal computer sales in emerging markets and demand for new computer server software, especially strong demand for Windows 2008, the flagship software at its server and tools division.

The profit growth looked even bigger due to a $1.06 billion charge that Microsoft incurred during last year's June quarter to fix problems with its Xbox 360 game console.

Analyst consensus was 47 cents per share -- or a 21 percent rise from 39 cents in the year-ago quarter -- on $15.65 billion revenue, according to a Thomson Financial survey.

Microsoft shares closed Thursday trade up 31 cents, or 1.14 percent, at $27.57 on the Nasdaq. The shares lost at least 5 percent in after-hours trade.

The software giant's report comes amid Yahoo's rejection of Microsoft's revised, search-only, offer -- after the collapse of Microsoft's acquisition offer for the Internet megaportal.

Since Microsoft went public with its unsolicited bid to buy Yahoo on Feb. 1, the stock is down at least 16 percent, as of Thursday, versus a 10 percent slide in the S&P 500.

This week, Microsoft announced a deal between its Xbox 360 gaming console with Netflix , at the E3 Media and Business Summit going on in Los Angeles this week. The pact allows the Netflix' 8 million subscribers to download and watch movies instantly on the Xbox 360, for no extra cost.

-- Reuters contributed to this report.

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