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Microsoft profit up 17 percent, shares jump

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp. said its fiscal first-quarter profit rose a greater-than-expected 17 percent, as strong sales of its Office and server software to businesses offset weakness in its flagship Windows system.

Its shares rose 6 percent in after-hours trading.

The world's largest software company, which is shifting its focus to devices and services, on Thursday posted a profit of $5.2 billion, or 62 cents per share, up from $4.5 billion, or 53 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

That smashed Wall Street's average forecast of 54 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, although analysts had been edging down estimates for the last three months.

Revenue rose 16 percent to $18.5 billion, helped by rising sales of its Office software. Analysts had expected $17.8 billion, on average.

(Reporting by Bill Rigby; Editing by Richard Chang)

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