NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- China's State Council announced it will repeal a 13-year ban on gaming consoles. Companies such as Microsoft (MSFT), Sony (SNE) and Nintendo will legally be able to sell their wares in the country upon the Ministry of Culture's approval of individual models.
Microsoft already has an edge over competitors. The tech giant and Shanghai Media Group subsidiary BesTV New Media have agreed to a gaming joint venture worth a combined investment of $237 million. Microsoft will have a 49% stake in the venture.
While consoles and games have been available on the black market, legalization will allow hardware and gaming companies, such as Electronic Arts (EA), Activision (ATVI) and Take-Two Interactive (TTWO), to create Chinese-language versions and drive above-board marketing efforts.
Microsoft shares rallied to $33.54, up 2.32% as of 1:40 p.m. EST. Overall, the company is leading the S&P 500 which is down 0.39%.TheStreet Ratings team rates Microsoft as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate Microsoft a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- MSFT's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 6.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 10.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- MSFT's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.2 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 2.53, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
- The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Software industry and the overall market, Microsoft's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- Microsoft reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, Microsoft increased its bottom line by earning $2.60 vs. $2 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.71 vs. $2.60).
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: MSFT Ratings Report
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 + 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