Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has recently held the Ignite conference which aims to bring the best of the cloud industry together under one platform to discuss the future and plan for the role of cloud in the future era of technology. The primary emphasis is on merging the advances in AI and machine learning with cloud computing in order to provide real-time analysis and control tools for businesses throughout the world. To discuss the conference and the future of several other Microsoft products, UBS analyst Brent Thill hosted a call with Mary Jo Foley, who has covered the stock for more than 20 years and still continues to do so.
Mr. Thill believes that there are a lot of positives on the horizon for Microsoft among which the pent-up demand for the upcoming Windows Server 2016 is the most significant. Other positives include the better-than-expected adoption of SQL Server 2016 and Azure’s strong performance during the past few weeks - which is currently very well positioned for future growth. Azure is among the two mega cloud infrastructures that support the very foundation of Microsoft’s future.
Microsoft is expected to release the quarterly earnings for the first quarter of the fiscal year 2017 on October 20. The analyst expects Microsoft to post a revenue of $21.6 billion, which is slightly lower than the Street’s estimate of $21.7 billion and is flattish on a year over year basis. The EPS is expected to be around $0.68 in line with Street, while the operating margins are estimated to be 30.9%.
The analyst sees multiple catalysts for Microsoft in both near and long-term and has reaffirmed its Buy rating with a price target of $64. The analyst ratings for the stock are 11 Buy, 11 Outperform, 11 Hold and 3 Sell. The stock closed at a price of $57.19 yesterday after losing 1.46%.