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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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September 30, 2008 7:30 AM

Microsoft fiscal Q1 ends today, look for single-digit growth in Oct. 23 earnings report

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

This is the last day of Microsoft's fiscal 2009 first quarter. While Silicon Valley tech companies were telegraphing layoffs last week to trim expenses and tidy up the bottom line as the quarter came to a close, not so at Microsoft. (Check back Wednesday for an update on employment growth at the company.)

Microsoft will announce its fiscal first quarter earnings on Thursday, Oct. 23, after the markets close.

The company guided for first quarter:

-- Revenue of $14.7 billion to $14.9 billion, growth of 6.8 to 8.3 percent from a year ago

-- Operating income of $5.9 billion to $6.0 billion, flat to 1.3 percent growth
-- Earnings per share of 47 cents to 48 cents, up 4.4 to 6.7 percent

But Microsoft has a tough comparison to its fiscal 2008 first quarter, which blew the doors off and sent company stock to highs not seen since 2001.

The economic climate, obviously, is much changed. And in an interview with Bloomberg News last week before speaking at the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce's annual dinner, CEO Steve Ballmer said "it would be reasonable to expect there will be consequences. Nobody knows exactly what's going to happen."

Bloomberg also carried this story last week, citing industry analysts who predicted the tech industry could see $4.3 billion in lost orders from the finance industry as firms combine or go under.

(Note: I'm out of the office this week. This post was written in advance and scheduled for publication today.)

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