Microsoft Corp. Upgraded to Buy at Nomura (MSFT)
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) was upgraded by stock analysts at Nomura from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Thursday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. The firm currently has a $38.00 price objective on the stock. Nomura’s price target suggests a potential upside of 20.22% from the stock’s previous close.
The analysts wrote, “MSFT was removed from our Buy list in April on poor fundamentals, but we are now adding it back on anticipated benefits of shareholder activism. ValueAct owns under a 1% position, but is likely to have support of shareholders weighing in on their side as they press for a Board seat and attempt to drive greater shareholder value. News of a proxy contest might be a near-term catalyst (there is a requirement to notify Microsoft by August 30th if there is an intent to fight a proxy battle), but a decision by the board at Microsoft to offer a nomination for a board seat could keep the activist agenda behind closed doors and take longer for shareholders to see potential benefits. Fundamentals will be front and center at the September 19th Financial Analyst Meeting (‘FAM’) We think estimates will likely be talked lower on lower gross margins (we are reducing our EPS estimate from $2.75 to $2.60 for fiscal 2014 in anticipation), but there are some benefits over time from the transition to a subscription model.”
Shares of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) traded up 2.50% during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $32.40. 11,317,904 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Microsoft Corp. has a 52-week low of $26.26 and a 52-week high of $36.43. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $32.91 and its 200-day moving average is $31.49. The company has a market cap of $269.9 billion and a P/E ratio of 12.25.
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 18th. The company reported $0.59 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.75 by $0.16. The company had revenue of $19.90 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $20.73 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.73 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Microsoft Corp. will post $2.76 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reiterated a “sell” rating on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research note to investors on Thursday, August 15th. They now have a $28.00 price target on the stock. Separately, analysts at Stifel Nicolaus downgraded shares of Microsoft Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note to investors on Tuesday, August 13th. They now have a $36.00 price target on the stock. Finally, analysts at Evercore Partners upgraded shares of Microsoft Corp. from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research note to investors on Thursday, August 8th. They now have a $38.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $35.00. They noted that the move was a valuation call.
Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-four have given a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Microsoft Corp. has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $34.98.
Microsoft Corporation is engaged in developing, licensing and supporting a range of software products and services.
Get Analysts' Upgrades and Downgrades via Email - Stay on top of analysts' coverage with Analyst Ratings Network's FREE daily email newsletter that provides a concise list of analysts' upgrades and downgrades. Click here to register now.