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UPDATE 1-Microsoft profit beats on strong cloud demand

(Adds details, shares)

July 20 (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue, helped by a strong performance in its fast-growing cloud business.

The company's shares rose as much as 1.5 percent in trading after the bell on Thursday. They had touched a record high of $74.30 in regular trading.

Microsoft said revenue from its cloud unit, which includes the flagship Azure platform and server products, rose about 11 percent to $7.43 billion in the fourth quarter.

Analysts on average had expected revenue of $7.32 billion, according to data and analytics firm FactSet.

Revenue from Azure nearly doubled in the quarter. http://bit.ly/2oQAzSJ

The service competes with Amazon.com Inc's Amazon Web Services as well as offerings from Alphabet Inc's Google, IBM and Oracle Corp.

Microsoft has sharpened its focus on the fast-growing cloud computing unit as part of Chief Executive Satya Nadella's "mobile first, cloud first" strategy to offset weakness in the PC market.

The company's net income more than doubled to $6.51 billion, or 83 cents per share, in the quarter ended June 30 from $3.12 billion, or 39 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, Microsoft earned 98 cents per share.

On an adjusted basis, revenue rose 9.1 percent to $24.7 billion.

Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of 71 cents per share and revenue of $24.27 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (Reporting by Gayathree Ganesan and Rishika Sadam in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)