Microsoft profit dips but beats estimate

SEATTLE, April 24 Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:14pm EDT

SEATTLE, April 24 (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp said on Thursday fiscal third-quarter profit fell 7 percent, as sales of personal computers continued to slide, hurting its consumer business.

The world's largest software company reported quarterly profit of $5.66 billion, or 68 cents peer share, compared with $6.05 billion, or 72 cents, in the year-ago quarter.

However, the decline was exaggerated by deferred revenues boosting the year-ago figure, and the latest quarter's profit beat Wall Street's average estimate of 63 cents per share. (Reporting by Bill Rigby; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)