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Microsoft may issue sales and profits warning, analyst claims

Microsoft may issue a sales and profits warning for the second quarter, ending 31 December, which would be the first Xmas holiday season falls since December...

Microsoft may issue a sales and profits warning for the second quarter, ending 31 December, which would be the first Xmas holiday season falls since December 2000.

The sales and profits warning prediction has been made by Morgan Stanley financial analyst Adam Holt.

Other leading IT firms, including Intel, have also issued sales and profits warnings as a result of the PC buying downturn and the general economic slowdown, so Microsoft faltering would not be an absolute surprise. However, some may be wondering whether Redmond is immune.

The firm has continued to hire and up to now has posted record sales and profits, even if those underlying increases have slowed.

But Holt says that since the company last provided guidance in October, it may have come up short of its targets for the quarter.

Whether or not Microsoft gives an advance warning is anyone's guess, but Holt has cut his financial estimates for the firm's second quarter.

He has reduced expected revenue to $16.7bn and profits to 46 cents per share, down from the previous $17.3bn and 51 cents.

Microsoft's own October guidance for the market was for revenue of $17.3bn to $17.8bn, and profits of 51-53 cents per share.

The second quarter results will be posted by Microsoft on 22 January.

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