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Microsoft's slowest revenue growth in six years puts pressure on the company"

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) shares are set to open under pressure after the software giant reported its slowest sales growth in six years and warned that there may be worse to come.

Revenue grew only 2% year-over-year in the three months through December to $52.7 billion, missing the consensus estimate of $53.12B. While earnings were fractionally ahead of expectations at $2.32 a share, they were still down 12% on the year at $16.4B.

Analysts have identified the slowdown in growth at Microsoft's intelligent Cloud business division as a key concern. The division had posted years of spectacular growth and had largely defied the post-pandemic slowdown in Internet and remote-themed business until recently. Intelligent Cloud revenue was up 24% year-on-year in constant currencies in the quarter, but Microsoft sees it edging up to around $21.85B in the current quarter, an implicit annualized growth rate of only 6.6%, according to calculations. Analysts had expected around $22.14B.

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