Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Microsoft’s Baaaaack? Expectations for 4Q Earnings High (As Online Division Losses Surely Will Be)

BoomTown always likes to play the quarterly game of guessing exactly how eye-popping the loss in the Online Services division of Microsoft will be.

In the third quarter, for example, it was $713,000,000–yes, all those zeros!

But that will be just a rounding error to Microsoft (MSFT) in the fourth quarter if the software giant can meet Wall Street expectations of strong gains in profits and revenue, due to improving computer demand.

Analysts expect Microsoft to earn 46 cents a share for the three months ended in June, with $15.2 billion in revenue. In the same quarter a year ago, the company posted profits of 36 cents a share on $13.1 billion in revenue.

What a difference a year makes, especially with PCs selling well and Microsoft offering the popular new operating system Windows 7.

Intel (INTC), a Microsoft partner, already showed a lot of leg with strong results last week.

But despite the upturn, Microsoft still is unlikely to show such strength in its online businesses, as well as others such as online games and mobile phones. That’s because the company has had to make massive investments to compete with rivals such as Google (GOOG).

Microsoft, of course, is hoping that its online search and advertising partnership with Yahoo (YHOO), which is expected to launch by year’s end, will move the market share–and, thus, profit–needle.

If that happens, there is only one thing to do: Par-tay in Redmond!