How websites show their politics

One of the problems with reporting financial performance of companies is that it’s really easy to end up with a completely different slant to other reports. Today is no exception, with Microsoft’s figures coming under scrutiny. Here’s how The Inquirer put it at Microsoft’s profits plummet:

[Microsoft's] focus on its new operating system Vista has seriously damaged its last quarter profits. Microsoft saw a 28 per cent drop in earnings over the last few months, despite revenue growth that exceeded forecasts. Earnings fell to $2.63 billion from $3.65 billion during the same period last year. Wall Street bean counters were pleased that Vole’s Revenue rose to $12.5 billion, but shareholders were not and the price of a share in Vole dropped 64 cents.

As opposed to Silicon.com’s angle at Lack of Vista not felt on Gates’ bottom-line:

With holiday PC sales apparently unscathed by the lack of Windows Vista, Microsoft reported quarterly profits that topped expectations and its own forecast. The software giant said it earned $2.63bn, or 26 cents per share, on revenue of $12.54bn for the three months ended 31 December, its second fiscal quarter. That compares with profits of $3.65bn, or 34 cents per share, on revenue of $11.83bn for the same quarter a year ago.

And for a third view, here’s the Register at Microsoft pulls in record Q2:

Microsoft drummed up record revenues in the December quarter – its fiscal Q2 – and could have done even better if it hadn’t squirreled away some of its sales to ‘recognize’ in Q3. The company today announced Q2 revenues of $12.54bn, six per cent up on last year, and net income of $2.63bn – a 28 per cent drop. But it deferred $1.64bn to account for Vista and Office upgrade coupons given to PC makers to dish out to their customers, which are expected to be redeemed in Q3. Without this set aside, revenues would have been 14 per cent higher than last time.

So which is correct? Well they all are, but it goes to show how readers need to understand the background, politics and tone taken by each individual website, just like we have always done with newspapers.

Tags: microsoft

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