Dow component Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) reports fiscal Q1 2021 earnings on Oct. 27, with analysts expecting a profit of $1.36 per-share on $35.8 billion in revenue. The stock sold off more than 6% after the Q4 release in July, despite beating top and bottom line estimates. Market watchers blamed the sell-the-news reaction on overly-high expectations for the cloud and commercial products divisions. The stock recovered those losses into August and posted an all-time high in early September.
Microsoft And TikTok
Buying pressure resumed after Mr. Softee threw its hat into the ring in the TikTok drama, seeking to acquire the company while jumping through political hoops in China and the United States. Oracle Inc. (ORCL) eventually won the coveted prize but continued conflict between nations suggests that Microsoft was lucky to walk away empty-handed and redirect attention to core services and the Nov. 10 release of the next-generation Xbox console.
Morgan Stanley analyst Keith Weiss discussed the revenue boost expected from the Xbox release earlier this month, stating, “The fiscal year 2021 console cycle and the addition of Bethesda highlight incremental growth opportunities for Microsoft’s gaming franchise, w/ a potential ~$80 billion value for the gaming subscription biz alone. Our bottom up work suggests the console cycle should not derail a broader margin expansion story. Overweight.”
Wall Street And Technical Outlook
Wall Street has been bullish on the big tech powerhouse for years, with a current ‘Moderate Buy’ consensus based upon 23 ‘Buy’ and 3 ‘Hold’ recommendations. No analysts are recommending that shareholders close positions and move to the sidelines at this time. Price targets currently range from a low of $208 to a Street-high $260 while the stock is set to open Monday’s U.S. session about $16 below the median target. There’s plenty of potential upside after a strong strong quarterly report, given this humble placement.
Microsoft broke out above the first quarter high at 190.65 in June and added more than 40 points into the September peak. It then sold off with broad benchmarks, testing the 50-day moving average for more than 5 weeks before surging off a small base earlier this month. Accumulation readings are hovering near new highs, supporting continued upside, but monthly cycles are flashing overbought technical readings. This conflict suggests two-sided action through most or all of the fourth quarter.
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