Microsoft Stock Hits Record High After Bullish Analyst Attention

MSFT topped out at a record high earlier today

Karee Venema
Jun 1, 2018 at 10:37 AM
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Evercore ISI raised its price target on Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) to $120 -- a 21% premium to last night's close at $98.84, and record-high territory for the Dow stock. This comes just days after MSFT surpassed Alphabet (GOOGL) in terms of market share. Heading into today's trading, the two tech titans were running neck and neck, sporting market caps of $759.41 billion and $758.77 billion, respectively.

Today, MSFT stock is up 1.2% to trade at $100, earlier reaching a fresh record high of $100.03. This just echoes the stock's longer-term trajectory, too, with Microsoft shares up 42% year-over-year, lifted by steady support from their 80-day moving average.

Against this backdrop, most analysts are already bullish on MSFT. Of the 26 brokerages covering the shares, 21 maintain a "buy" or better rating. Plus, the average 12-month price target of $110.85 represents a 12% premium to current trading levels.

Short-term options traders seem to be optimistic, too, per the stock's front-month gamma-weighted Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.45. What this means is that near-the-money call open interest nearly doubles put open interest in the standard June options series.

Drilling down, the June 95, 97.50, and 100 calls make up MSFT's top three open interest positions, where more than 163,000 contracts collectively reside. Data from the major options exchanges confirms significant buy-to-open activity at each strike, indicating options traders are betting on even higher highs for Microsoft stock over the next few weeks.


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