Jul 042012


Microsoft Corp. said it would record a $6.2 billion goodwill write-down in its online services division, largely related to the 2007 purchase of aQuantive Inc.

Microsoft paid $6.3 billion for the online advertising firm, hoping the acquisition would help it broker online ads on partner websites.

“While the aQuantive acquisition continues to provide tools for Microsoft’s online advertising efforts, the acquisition did not accelerate growth to the degree anticipated, contributing to the write down,” the Redmond, Wash., company said.

Microsoft said that it doesn’t expect the write-down, recorded in its fiscal fourth quarter, to affect its continuing business or financial performance.

It added that while the online services division has been improving, the company’s expectations for future growth and profits are lower than previous estimates.

Microsoft’s continued strength in sales of its Office suite of products to corporate customers has helped cushion the company from the impact of slumping personal computer sales.

In April, the software giant said its fiscal third-quarter earnings slid from a year-earlier period that included a tax benefit, as the company reported weaker sales in its entertainment business.

Shares closed Monday at $30.56 and were down 12 cents after hours. The stock is up 18% so far this year.

Write to Ben Fox Rubin at ben.rubin@dowjones.com

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