Microsoft (MSFT) Lifted to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $99.00 price target on the software giant’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 9.85% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Microsoft, a software company, have outperformed the industry it belongs to over the past one year. The company is dealing with the recent security bug which poses a huge risk for users.  In this context, it is rolling out patches to fix Windows kernels in order to address the vulnerability. Additionally, Microsoft’s recent blockchain deals with Hapoalim and Accenture and its Coco framework are tailwinds. We expect rapid adoption of Azure and Office 365 to remain the key catalysts in the near future. We believe that collaborations with the likes of Amazon, Red Hat, Symantec, Cray and PAREXEL are positive for the company's growth prospects. We also believe that Microsoft’s strategic initiatives to enter the augmented reality and virtual reality market with the acquisition of Altspace VR and launch of mixed reality headsets will be positives. However, intense competition from Sony’s PS4 is a headwind.”

Several other brokerages have also recently commented on MSFT. Oppenheimer boosted their price target on shares of Microsoft to $115.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th. Barclays set a $95.00 price target on shares of Microsoft and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, January 12th. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $100.00 price target (up from $90.00) on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Friday, January 12th. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Microsoft from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Sunday, December 31st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and thirty-two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $87.02.

Shares of Microsoft (NASDAQ MSFT) traded up $1.77 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $90.12. 12,340,000 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 23,300,000. The company has a current ratio of 3.12, a quick ratio of 3.06 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.91. Microsoft has a 12-month low of $62.03 and a 12-month high of $90.79. The company has a market capitalization of $695,240.00, a PE ratio of 30.45, a PEG ratio of 2.09 and a beta of 0.99.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The software giant reported $0.84 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.12. Microsoft had a net margin of 24.56% and a return on equity of 35.23%. The firm had revenue of $24.50 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $23.57 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.76 earnings per share. Microsoft’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.7% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts anticipate that Microsoft will post 3.39 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, EVP Christopher C. Capossela sold 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $83.48, for a total value of $333,920.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 185,278 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $15,467,007.44. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider Frank H. Brod sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.08, for a total value of $1,261,200.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 116,205 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,770,516.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 45,000 shares of company stock worth $3,759,420. Company insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Capital Research Global Investors boosted its position in Microsoft by 212.3% during the second quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 69,663,044 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $4,801,874,000 after purchasing an additional 47,353,245 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its position in Microsoft by 609.4% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 49,174,883 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $3,389,625,000 after purchasing an additional 42,243,011 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in Microsoft by 4.6% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 564,052,011 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $38,880,105,000 after purchasing an additional 25,053,413 shares during the period. Tiger Global Management LLC boosted its position in Microsoft by 395.2% during the second quarter. Tiger Global Management LLC now owns 10,487,500 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $722,903,000 after purchasing an additional 8,369,500 shares during the period. Finally, Polen Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in Microsoft during the third quarter worth approximately $527,480,000. 73.19% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

COPYRIGHT VIOLATION NOTICE: This piece of content was published by The Ledger Gazette and is the property of of The Ledger Gazette. If you are reading this piece of content on another site, it was illegally copied and republished in violation of U.S. & international copyright and trademark laws. The legal version of this piece of content can be accessed at https://ledgergazette.com/2018/01/17/microsoft-msft-lifted-to-buy-at-zacks-investment-research.html.

Microsoft Company Profile

Microsoft Corporation is a technology company. The Company develops, licenses, and supports a range of software products, services and devices. The Company’s segments include Productivity and Business Processes, Intelligent Cloud and More Personal Computing. The Company’s products include operating systems; cross-device productivity applications; server applications; business solution applications; desktop and server management tools; software development tools; video games, and training and certification of computer system integrators and developers.

Analyst Recommendations for Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Receive News & Ratings for Microsoft Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Microsoft and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.

Leave a Reply