Morgan Stanley Targets $1 Trillion Market Cap for Microsoft

The brokerage firm raised its MSFT price target to $130 from $110

Managing Editor
Mar 26, 2018 at 9:49 AM
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Shares of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) are 4.6% higher to trade at $91.21, after the Dow stock received price-target hikes from Morgan Stanley to $130 from $110, and Evercore ISI to $110 from $108. While both stand in record-high territory, the former bull note represents expected upside of 49% to last Friday's close, with the brokerage firm saying it expects Microsoft's market cap to hit $1 trillion from cloud growth and improving margins.

Today's positive price action is more of the same, with MSFT gaining 41% over the past 12 months, and hitting a record high of $97.24 on March 13. After touching this notable milestone, the shares pulled back to their rising 80-day moving average, which has served as a springboard for the equity since late 2016.

Not surprisingly, most analysts are already in MSFT's bullish corner. Of the 28 brokerages covering the shares, 22 maintain a "buy" or better rating. Plus, the average 12-month price target of $105.15 stands at a 15.6% premium to the stock's current perch.

Showing more evidence of bullish sentiment is the stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 3.40 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which ranks in the 90th percentile of its annual range. In other words, calls have been bought to open over puts at a faster-than-usual clip during the past two weeks. 

What's more, MSFT stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.78 ranks in the 31st  percentile of its annual range, showing a heavier-than-normal call-skew among options expiring within three months.



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