Microsoft CFO Exits; Profit, Shares Rise

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Microsoft Corp said on Thursday Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein would leave at the end of June after 3-1/2 years in the post, as the world's biggest software company struggles with sharply declining personal computer sales and a lukewarm reception for its new Windows 8 operating system.

File of Microsoft CFO Klein during a Reuters Global Technology Summit in New York

Microsoft Corp said on Thursday Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein would leave at the end of June after 3-1/2 years in the post, as the world's biggest software company struggles with sharply declining personal computer sales and a lukewarm reception for its new Windows 8 operating system.

Klein, an 11-year Microsoft veteran, is the latest in a line of top-level executives to leave the company, following Windows head Steven Sinofsky last November. Some have questioned whether Chief Executive Steve Ballmer is still the right leader for Microsoft, whose shares have remained essentially flat for the last decade.

Microsoft shares rose 1.5 percent in after-hours trading.

The company reported a profit of $6 billion, or 72 cents per share, in the fiscal third quarter, up from $5.1 billion, or 60 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. That beat Wall Street's average estimate of 68 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Analysts have been pegging back profit forecasts for Microsoft in the light of flagging PC sales.

Profit was boosted by some deferred revenue from its Windows, Office and video game operations, but cut severely by a big fine by European antitrust regulators for breaking promises relating to expanding the choice of Internet browsers on Windows.

Sales rose to $20.5 billion from $17.4 billion a year ago, in line with analysts' estimates.

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