The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant recently announced that Windows 8 would be available in late October, just in time for the holiday season. Microsoft also announced that Office 2013 would be available later this year as well.
Recent PC trends have pointed to sluggish growth, with research firms Gartner and IDC pointing to flat year-over-year growth. Intel (INTC) mentioned slowing growth in the back end of 2012 in its recent earnings report, confirming this theory.
Even with flat growth, it's all about Windows 8. "Overall, we continue to expect the stock to be driven by the potential growth prospects of the upcoming Windows 8 release (specifically its ARM-based version entering the tablet market) rather than actual quarterly results," ThinkEquity analyst Yun Kim mentioned in a research note. He rates shares hold with a $31 price target.Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the software giant to report quarterly earnings of 62 cents a share on $18.13 billion in revenue. Independent analysts surveyed by Estimize expect 64 cents a share on $18.36 billion in revenue. Even though there are some concerns about sluggish PC growth in the quarter, investors may take solace that other parts of Microsoft's business are solid. Raymond James analyst Michael Turits said he believes the data center business, which includes Server, SQL Server, and System Center is solid, as is portions of the Microsoft Business Division (Lync and Sharepoint). He rated shares outperform with a $37 price target. Again, Turits pointed the focus back to Windows 8 and several other products scheduled for release in fiscal 2013. "Overall we're positive on the company's aggressive challenges to structural changes in cloud and mobile computing with the overall Windows 8 strategy around client, mobile, server, and cloud and view Microsoft as a solid defensive play in the current macro," Turitis wrote in his research note. Interested in more on Microsoft? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock. Check out our new tech blog, Tech Trends. Follow TheStreet Tech on your wireless devices. --Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York >Contact by Email. Follow @Commodity_Bull
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV