Microsoft, Intel earnings jump despite PC softness

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — PC sales didn’t have a happy holiday sales season, but you wouldn’t know it from the strong earnings posted by Microsoft and Intel.

The PC is struggling — last quarter, shipments fell 6% from the year-ago period, according to research firm Gartner — as tablets and smartphones grab market share.

But both computing giants reported earnings that beat Wall Street estimates. They chalked up softness in PC sales not to obsolescence, but to a worldwide hard drive shortage caused by massive floods in Thailand in November.

The good news on earnings boosted shares of both companies early Friday. Microsoft’s stock rose 2.6% in premarket trading, while shares of Intel edged up 0.7%.

Microsoft earned a record 78 cents per share on record sales of $20.89 billion for the second quarter of its fiscal year.

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