Will This Downgrade Hurt Microsoft (MSFT) Stock Today?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Microsoft Corp.  (MSFT) are down -0.74% to $38.92 in pre-market trade after Deutsche Bank  (DB) downgraded its rating to "hold" from "buy," citing valuation and concerns over the closing of the Nokia unit acquisition.

The firm has a $42 price target for shares.

"At the time that we assumed coverage of MSFT shares in January 2014, our bullish call was rooted in a number of pending catalysts, including the CEO change, the likelihood of a big Xbox One print, a stabilizing PC market with better-than-expected business PC sales, share gains in enterprise software and our belief that Street sentiment towards the mega-cap incumbents (MSFT& ORCL) was too negative relative to the high-growth disruptors" the firm said in a note.

"Many of these catalysts have now played out, and the nearest-term event (closing of the NOK deal) may be a net negative. We conclude that at 13x our '15 EPS, the riskreward for the stock is now more skewed to a Hold rating." the note added.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates MICROSOFT CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate MICROSOFT CORP (MSFT) 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 solid stock price performance. 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 11.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 14.3%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Although MSFT's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.27 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 2.96, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. When compared to other companies in the Software industry and the overall market, MICROSOFT CORP's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 29.98% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, MSFT should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: MSFT Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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