Microsoft shares rise amid upbeat earnings report

Microsoft shares rise amid upbeat earnings report

Microsoft shares are higher Friday, after the US tech giant reported stellar earnings for its fourth quarter period, in the three months ending June 2018. Its Office 365 and Azure offerings helped boost earnings that beat expectations and impressed analysts.

By 1635 BST, Microsoft shares were 2.72% higher at $107.23. The stock opened around 4% higher after releasing the figures after the market close, Thursday.

Microsoft’s earnings details

Microsoft reported that its total revenues rose 17% in the three months to June compared with the same period a year earlier. That increase was largely down to the Office 365 and Azure performance – Microsoft 365 revenues rose 38%, while Azure revenues surged 89%.

Elsewhere, LinkedIn revenues grew 37%, while its gaming revenues climbed 39%.

“I’m proud of our strong results this quarter and even more proud of what we have accomplished over the last 12 months,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a conference call discussing the results.

“We will continue to innovate and invest across our solution areas in serving our customers and their unmet and unarticulated needs,” Nadella added.

The company outlook was also positive, both for the coming quarter and the next full fiscal year. However, Microsoft’s CFO Amy Hood said that while the tech firm is anticipating further growth across the business, comparison for its Azure and Windows commercial businesses are set to slow from the strong 2018 performance so far.

Analyst upgrades

Following the upbeat Q4 results from Microsoft, a number of analysts have increased their price targets for the stock. They include:

  • Goldman Sachs has raised its Microsoft price target to $125 from $114.
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch upped its price target to $134 from $130.
  • Piper Jaffray increased its Microsoft price target to $130 from $123.
  • Stifel now has a price target of $118 from $107.
  • KeyBanc Capital raised its price target to $1230 from $110.
  • Credit Suisse upped its price outlook to $125 from $115.
By Ilona Billington
Ilona is a freelance writer and editor with over 15 years experience reporting and writing about UK and European economics, real estate, financial markets and central banks.
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