Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) stock has been trading near the record high of $159.55 as the company’s future lies in Azure, gaming and LinkedIn. The shares have risen over 237% in the past five years and over 57% in the past year. The stock has been steadily climbing the ladder to trade near the record high.
The market experts believe that the company turned out to be the top software pick for 2020 backed by strong growth drivers under its hood that includes gaming, Azure, and LinkedIn. The revenue is expected to climb at a gradual pace in 2020 and 2021 with the year-over-year growth rate at over 11% for both the years.
The top-line growth rate is likely to rise in the long term with the help of its Cloud business, subscription model, as well as successful LinkedIn and GitHub acquisitions. The company has been looking into ways to improve the revenue coming from Search Advertising as Alphabet’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google still dominates in the area.
Microsoft has been able to build its lineup on the software/artificial intelligence (AI) business with the purchase of 19 companies in 2019. It is expected that the tech giant will continue the buying spree for making itself strong in AI. Also, the company has been serious in expanding its cloud capabilities due to the partnership with Ericsson on connected cars and deal with KKBOX to shift music streaming services to Azure.
The company has an edge over its rivals in the cloud space backed by its best and most secure tech with an advantage over Google for data collection practices in achieving enterprise/government contracts. The transition to the subscription model is a massive opportunity for Microsoft as it will push new levels of profitability to the company.
For the first quarter, Microsoft reported a 21% jump in earnings as growths in Productivity and Business Processes, Intelligent Cloud, and More Personal Computing segments drove the top line higher. Gaming revenue declined by 7% as a decrease in the volume of consoles sold hurt Xbox hardware by 34%.
The market experts believe that the company’s stock could reasonably be a good investment as its return on assets stood at 10.64% and return on equity at 42.80%. Also, the company has $136.61 billion of total cash while the total debt stood at $85.57 billion. The company is likely to be beneficial by the holiday season sales for the current quarter.