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Microsoft posts first ever loss after writing down aQuantive deal

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Microsoft Head Office: Building 99, Redmond Campus

© Microsoft

Microsoft has posted its first loss since joining the stock market in 1986.

Despite revenue of $18.06 billion (£11.5 billion) for the three months to June 30, 2012, the company announced a loss of $0.06 (£0.04) per share on Thursday (July 19).

However, the news did not appear to have a negative effect on share prices, which rose by 1.6% after the results were announced.

The loss came about after Microsoft decided earlier this month to write down the value of online advertising firm aQuantive by $6.2 billion (£3.94 billion).

aQuantive - Microsoft's biggest ever acquisition at the time of purchase in August 2007 - was purchased for just over $6.3 billion (£4.01 billion) in an all-cash transaction.

However, the writedown came about when Microsoft decided that the deal had not accelerated growth "to the degree anticipated".

Microsoft has performed well in other respects, posting operating income of $192 million (£122 million) in the three months to June 30, 2012 and reporting growth in all of its service divisions except for the Windows & Windows Live Division.

A decline of 13% for the fourth quarter and 3% for the full year was attributed to the decision to hold back $540 million (£343.8 million) which relates to the Windows Upgrade Offer.

The company's chief financial officer Peter Klein said in a statement that Microsoft will focus resources on "strategic areas that will deliver shareholder value and long-term growth opportunities".

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