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Will Big Technology Perform or Crash on Earnings?

MSFT Chart MSFT data by YCharts

Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report)

Who They Are: Microsoft was founded in 1975 and trades an average of 36 million shares per day with a market cap of $246.1 billion.
52-Week High: $32.85
52-Week Low: $23.98
Book Value: $8.17
Price To Book: 3.58

Microsoft is expected to report weak fourth-quarter earnings after the market closes on July 19. The consensus estimate is currently for 63 cents a share, a decline of 6 cents (8.7%) from 69 cents in the same period last year.

Analysts more or less love Microsoft. Currently, MSFT has 19 buy recommendations out of 27 analysts covering the company and 8 holds. No analyst in their right mind recommends selling. The stock has appreciated 10% in the last year, and the average analyst target price for MSFT is $35.82.

The trailing 12-month P/E is 10.7, and the mean fiscal year estimate P/E is 9.51, based on earnings of $3.08 a share this year. Investors are receiving 80 cents in dividends for a yield of 2.73%.

In the last month, the stock has climbed 0.58%. With Windows 8 about to come out and a zero growth-to-earnings ratio priced in, it's hard to lose with softy. Oh, did I mention the 2.73% dividend the fine programmers in Seattle provide for investors? For longer-term investors, Microsoft will let you sleep at night and put cash in your pocket.

For the same fiscal period year-over-year, revenue has improved to $69.94 billion last fiscal year, compared to $62.48 billion in the previous year. The bottom line has rising earnings year-over-year of $23.15 billion last fiscal year, compared to $18.76 billion in the previous year.

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