up to an outperform rating Monday on optimism about expected software spending in 2004.
"Microsoft's calendar 2004 outlook, while not perfect, is much improved over the calendar 2003 outlook from a year ago due to strong customer spending intentions, revenue impact from products launched in calendar 2003, a better legal outlook and improved prospects for PC growth," the research shop wrote.
The shares were recently up 18 cents, or 0.7%, to $26.16 on the Instinet premarket session, about midway between the 52-week range of $22.55 and $30. SoundView maintained its price target of $33.
SoundView recently completed a survey of 600 technology buyers and found Microsoft ranked No. 2 behind
in terms of spending intentions. SoundView expects the company to put up $36.7 billion in revenue and $1.17 in earnings per share next year, compared with the Thomson First Call earnings consensus $1.16 per share.