Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Today's Featured Computer Software & Services Winner

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Microsoft Corporation ( MSFT) pushed the Computer Software & Services industry higher today making it today's featured computer software & services winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Microsoft Corporation rose 33 cents (1.2%) to $28.21 on average volume. Throughout the day, 57.3 million shares of Microsoft Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 41.2 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $27.84-$28.34 after having opened the day at $27.86 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $27.88. Other companies within the Computer Software & Services industry that increased today were: Recon Technology ( RCON), up 21%, NetSuite ( N), up 14.9%, WebMD Health Corporation ( WBMD), up 14.6%, and THQ ( THQI), up 13.4%.
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Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports software products and services; and designs and sells hardware worldwide. Microsoft Corporation has a market cap of $234.84 billion and is part of the technology sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.1, equal to the average computer software & services industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 19 analysts that rate Microsoft Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Microsoft Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, increase in stock price during the past year, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the negative front, VeriSign ( VRSN), down 15.5%, Kingtone Wirelessinfo Solution ( KONE), down 13.3%, Unisys Corporation ( UIS), down 8.3%, and Qlik Technologies ( QLIK), down 7.7%, were all laggards within the computer software & services industry with CA ( CA) being today's computer software & services industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the computer software & services industry could consider iShares S&P NA Tech Software Idx ( IGV) while those bearish on the computer software & services industry could consider ProShares Ultra Short Technology ( REW).

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