Stock Analysis: Why Microsoft (NASDAQ MSFT) Is A Great Buy Right Now

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Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ MSFT) shares rallied more than 3 percent on Thursday in extended-hours trading after the world’s largest software company beat expectations and tallied record first-quarter sales, driven by the company’s cloud strength and hardware progress.

The Seattle-based company turned in a fiscal first-quarter profit of $4.54 billion, or 54 cents per share, on revenue of $23.2 billion, compared with earnings of $5.24 billion, or 64 cents per share, on revenue of $18.53 billion a year earlier. Wall Street had expected the software giant to report a profit of $4.08 billion, or 49 cents a share, excluding items, on revenue of $22.01 billion, according to analysts polled by Reuters.

“We are innovating faster, engaging more deeply across the industry, and putting our customers at the center of everything we do, all of which positions Microsoft for future growth,” CEO Satya Nadella said in the earnings report.

During the period ended Sept. 30, Microsoft said strong performance across commercial and consumer segments drove revenue growth. Revenue from the company’s Devices and Consumer unit grew 47 percent to $10.96 billion, and Microsoft’s Commercial revenue grew 10 percent to $12.28 billion.

News on Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ MSFT)

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ MSFT) opened trading today as $46.50 and is trading in the range of 46.34-46.70 today. Microsoft’s current market cap stands at $384.36 billion. Compared to other peers in the Business Software & Services sector, Microsoft has outperformed in terms of quarterly revenue growth year over year at 0.25 vs. the industry average of 0.21. Microsoft’s earnings per share is currently at 2.55, which surpasses the sector average of 0.10.

Microsoft is currently covered by 35 Wall Street analysts. The mean target price is $48.97 according to First Call. This presents a solid upside to the current price of the equity. The Mean Recommendation sits at 2.5,which is based on 5 Strong Buy, 10 Buy and 17 Hold ratings. The most recent analyst actions consisted of BMO Capital Markets initiating the stock on October 9th and FBR Capital initiating coverage with an upgrade rating back in June.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ MSFT) Business News

Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, markets, and supports software, services, and devices worldwide. The company’s Devices and Consumer (D&C) Licensing segment licenses Windows operating system and related software; Microsoft Office for consumers; and Windows Phone operating system. Its Computing and Gaming Hardware segment provides Xbox gaming and entertainment consoles and accessories, second-party and third-party video games, and Xbox Live subscriptions; surface devices and accessories; and Microsoft PC accessories.

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