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Microsoft's Price Target Hiked by Cowen; Rating Retained

Microsoft Corporation’s MSFT price target was recently raised by more than 3% to $59 from $57 by investment firm, Cowen. In addition, analysts retained the stock’s rating of Market Perform.

Cowen’s analyst Gregg Moskowitz remains quite impressed with the tech innovations at the 3-day Build 2016 conference, Microsoft’s annual mega gathering of developers, held last week.

At the Build, CEO Nadella spoke about improvements to all its major platforms, including Windows 10 and cloud computing.

Microsoft announced some additions to the Cortana Intelligence Suite. The company also released the Skype Bot Platform that includes API, SDK and Workflows on the new Skype Bot Portal. Moving further, the company launched the Windows 10 Anniversary Update featuring innovations for Windows Hello, Windows Ink and gaming. The company also announced that it has started shipping Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition that allows developers to integrate holographic computing to the Windows experience.

Moskowitz was optimistic about the expansion of Windows 10 operating system (OS). Per Microsoft, the OS is on 270 million devices worldwide at the end of March, up from 200 million at the end of January. The company plans to hit the 1-billion-device mark by fiscal 2018.

Cloud computing is a flourishing domain in the technology space. It is a procedure by which data or software is stored outside a computer, but can be easily accessed from anywhere and at any time via the Internet. Cloud computing is gaining traction as it can cut IT costs significantly for companies by removing expensive servers and trimming maintenance staff.

Moskowitz is also optimistic about the company’s successful transition from PC software to cloud computing. At the Build, Microsoft announced that Azure cloud computing platform currently has 30 data centers globally, up from 19 last year.

Moskowitz said, “The level of innovation on display was impressive, and updated metrics showed good progress.” He said the previews and software development kits made available for the new products and services, such as HoloLens, chat bots, and voice/image recognition were quite forward focused which made him more positive about Microsoft’s future.

With its sustained focus on innovation and developing the Universal Windows Platform, Moskowitz remains positive about Microsoft’s success in the future.

Currently, Microsoft carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Stocks to Consider

Some stocks that have been performing well in the same space are Blackbaud Inc. BLKB, Konami Holdings Corporation KNMCY and NetSol Technologies, Inc. NTWK, all sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
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