ABB and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced the worldwide availability of a new electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging services platform. Combining ABB’s leading EV charging stations with Microsoft’s Azure cloud-based services will ensure stability, global scalability and advanced management features for ABB customers. The collaboration will also take advantage of machine learning and predictive analytic capabilities to drive future innovations.

“Platform performance and stability are critical differentiators for the successful operation of a modern, data-dependent EV charging station. By partnering with Microsoft, ABB will be able to offer best-in-class operations as well as innovative advanced services — what we call the Internet of Things, Services and People,” said Pekka Tiitinen, president of ABB’s Discrete Automation and Motion Division. “This partnership gives us the solutions, scalability and global agility to support expanding demand for EV charging infrastructure in the world’s major automotive markets, which is a key focus of our Next Level growth strategy.”

Many automotive brands are investing in the dynamic “full electric” vehicle market, with new model launches anticipated next year. According to a report by Hybrid Cars, the total number of electric vehicles sold globally has surpassed 1 million, with more than half of those purchased in the past 14 months.

The rapid increase in electric vehicles around the world goes hand-in-hand with a mature charging and energy infrastructure. There are currently just 106,000 publicly accessible EV charging stations globally, and global revenue from electric vehicle charging services is set to grow from $152.6 million in 2015 to $2.9 billion by 2023, according to Navigant Research.

“Today we live in a mobile-first, cloud-first world, and this is ever apparent in the global electric vehicle market,” said Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of business development, Microsoft. “Our partnership with ABB aligns to one of our company ambitions to build the intelligent cloud platform, and we look forward to our technology and services becoming a differentiator for ABB’s solutions.”

Under the new collaboration, all ABB chargers will be connected to the Microsoft Azure cloud and surrounded by value-adding services, allowing operators and manufacturers and partners to take advantage of a world-class platform.

ABB and Microsoft will introduce their joint EV charging services platform at eCarTec, the world’s largest trade fair for electric and hybrid mobility, Oct. 20–22 in Munich, Germany. (Original Source)

Shares of Microsoft closed yesterday at $47.62. MSFT has a 1-year high of $50.05 and a 1-year low of $39.72. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $44.74 and its 200-day moving average is $45.20.

On the ratings front, Microsoft has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on October 16, FBR analyst Daniel Ives reiterated a Buy rating on MSFT, with a price target of $53, which implies an upside of 11.3% from current levels. Separately, on October 12, UBS’s Brent Thill reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $52.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Daniel Ives and Brent Thill have a total average return of 3.9% and 13.0% respectively. Ives has a success rate of 52.2% and is ranked #867 out of 3793 analysts, while Thill has a success rate of 69.1% and is ranked #99.

Overall, 2 research analysts have rated the stock with a Sell rating, 5 research analysts have assigned a Hold rating and 12 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $52.67 which is 10.6% above where the stock closed yesterday.