Top Analyst Reiterates Positive Stance on Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) as Street Cheers Earnings

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares are up nearly 5% today, after the software giant blew away expectations for its first fiscal-quarter earnings, posting revenue and EPS of $22.33 billion and $0.76, topping consensus’ estimates of $21.71 billion and $0.68, respectively.

In reaction, Oppenheimer top analyst Timothy Horan reiterated an Outperform rating on MSFT, with a price target of $62, which represents a slight upside potential from current levels.

Horan noted, “In a strong F1Q17 revenue of $22.3B was 3.6% above our $21.6B estimate. Gross margins came in 20bps better than expected driven by commercial cloud gross margins, which expanded 7% seq. due to accelerating growth at Azure (+123%), and Office 365 commercial revenue growth outpaced seat growth by 14% (ex-FX) at 54%. Overall, results point to a successful mobile cloud strategy which is set to overlay artificial intelligence and we believe become a dominant full service cloud/ communication service for enterprises. Multiple recent partnerships and customer wins as well as the pending release of SQL for Linux in the cloud should help drive solid growth over the next few years. Estimates under review; current model attached.”

As usual, we like to include the analyst’s trackrecord when reporting on new analyst notes. According to, 5-star analyst Timothy Horan has a yearly average return of 8.5% and a 72% success rate. Horan has an 7.6% average return when recommending MSFT, and is ranked #11 out of 4183 analysts.

Out of the 34 analysts polled by TipRanks, 24 rate Microsoft stock a Buy, 8 rate the stock a Hold and 2 recommend a Sell. With a return potential of 2%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $60.91.


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