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Microsoft to Record $6.2 Billion Goodwill Writedown in 4th Quarter

By Ben Fox Rubin Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) said it will record a $6.2 billion goodwill writedown in its online services division, to be recorded in its fiscal fourth quarter. It added that it doesn't expect the writedown to affect its ongoing business or financial performance. The goodwill in the division was substantially the result of the company's 2007 acquisition of online advertising agency aQuantive Inc. for $6.3 billion. As a result of its 2012 impairment review, Microsoft determined the write down would be required. "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 company said. 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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