Shares of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) are higher by 0.50% to $58.32 in mid-day trading on Monday after UBS’ Brent Thill reiterated a ‘Buy’ rating while raising his 12-month base case estimate on the shares to $64 from $62, writing that Microsoft’s cloud business remains on pace to exceed its $20 billion FY 2018 target.
The analyst noted [via Barron’s] that while Microsoft’s stock is up nearly 36% on a year-over-year basis, and historically has had trouble breaking past the $50 level, ticker is quickly approaching a year above this zone and trading near all-time highs.
Thill also said the Redmond, WA-based company has become one of the better ways to play cloud, thus offering investors more consistent results relative to peers. Microsoft ended fiscal year 2016 with $12.1 billion in revenue from its cloud segment, up roughly 50% year-over-year. The analyst believes the firm remains well positioned as one of a select few mega-clouds in software.
From a sentiment standpoint, Microsoft stock has a number of analysts already in the bullish camp, as it boasts 18 ‘Buys’, 4 ‘Holds’ and 2 ‘Sell’. The $453 billion market cap company has a median Street price target of $60 with a high target of $70.
In the past 52 weeks, shares of the software giant have traded between a low of $41.66 and a high of $58.70, with the 50-day moving average [MA] and 200-day MA located at $56.42 and $53.23 levels, respectively. Additionally, shares of Microsoft trade at a P/E ratio of 2.35 and have a Relative Strength Index (RSI) and MACD indicator of 75.65 and +0.26, respectively.
Microsoft’s stock has advanced 3.88% in the last 4 weeks and 11.60% in the past three months. Over the past 5 trading sessions the name has gained 0.71%. MSFT has a 2.48% dividend yield, or $1.44 a share, based on its current price-per-share of $58.24. The stock has technical support in the mid $57 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $59-$60 price levels.
MSFT currently prints a one year return of 35.81%, and a year-to-date return of around 6.75%.