More solid after-the-bell quarterly reports in the tech sector again came out Thursday afternoon: both Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) and Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) delivered numbers that should impress their particular investor groups. While Amazon put up sales numbers of $19.74 billion in the quarter -- far ahead of the $19.48 billion Zacks was expecting -- Microsoft posted earnings of 68 cents per share, ahead of the 62 cents in the Zacks Consensus Estimate.
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By now, just about everyone knows Amazon's earnings aren't where the real story is; AMZN did announce 23 cents per share for the quarter, however -- a penny ahead of our consensus estimate. And Microsoft delivered slightly less in revenues than we had been expecting: $20.4 billion in the quarter, as opposed to our $20.47 billion estimated. Both stocks are currently trading up in the after-hours session.
Net sales for Amazon are up 23% year over year, and that's the name of the game for the giant Internet store. From a successful launch of Fire TV, a subsequent content deal made with HBO and the announcement that video streams of Amazon Prime Video "nearly tripled year over year," CEO Jeff Bezos still has plenty to crow about, even if there are still lots of analysts who remain worried about the amount of money the company is spending and its astronomical valuation. Amazon has been targeting taking market share from Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) for the past few quarters, and it appears the company may have made some headway.
Microsoft's valuations are much more down to earth, comparatively, though it, like Amazon, resembles a tech conglomerate of sorts: Windows OEM grew 4% in the quarter boosted by Windows OEM Pro, revenues for Surface had increased 50% and Microsoft sold 2 million xBoxes in the quarter. All pretty positive news to go along with a 9.7% positive earnings surprise, but they're not trying to take on market leaders in other areas like Amazon is. You might say Microsoft performed like a quality utility infielder this quarter, whereas Amazon is a prize fighter attempting to jump weight classes.
In any case, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is enjoying some smooth sailing for his inaugural earnings report, and is joining the call this afternoon as well. Before earnings came out, Microsoft carried a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Amazon currently sits at Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), based on upward earning estimate revision biases for fiscal 2014 and 2015.