Strong sales of the Xbox 360 and SQL Server 2005 helped Microsoft end its fiscal year on a bit of a high note yesterday, though income was down as a result of expenses and legal charges.

For its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended 30 June, Microsoft reported revenue of $11.8bn (about £6.4bn), which beat Wall Street expectations of $11.6bn (£6.3bn) and was a 16 percent increase on the figure a year before.

However, Microsoft's net income for the quarter was down 24 percent on the previous year. The company reported net income of $2.83bn (£1.5bn), and earnings per share of $0.28, which included legal charges. Excluding those charges, Microsoft earned $0.31 per share for the quarter, slightly higher than estimates by analysts polled by Thomson Financial, which expected Microsoft to earn $0.30 per share for the quarter. For the same quarter last year, net income was $3.7bn (£2bn), or $0.34 per share.

Microsoft also reported results for its 2006 fiscal year yesterday. The company reported revenue of $44.28bn (£23.9bn) for the year, an 11 percent increase on the previous year. Net income was $12.6bn (£6.8bn), or $1.27 per share; Thomson Financial analysts had expected the company to earn $1.26 per share for the year.

In addition to reporting financial results, Microsoft also authorised a significant stock repurchase plan. The company said it will repurchase $20bn (£10.8bn) in stock by 17 August, and an additional $20bn in an ongoing share repurchase programme that expires on 20 June 2011. The company also said it completed a previously announced $30bn (£16.2bn) stock repurchase program.