Why Microsoft (MSFT) Stock Is Down Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Microsoft  (MSFT) fell 1.14% to $44.91 on Tuesday after the tech giant refused to comply with a U.S. judge's order to turn over customer emails held at a data center in Ireland.

Loretta Preska, a U.S. District Court judge in Manhattan, has removed a hold on her previous order for Microsoft to turn the emails over to U.S. prosecutors who are working on a criminal investigation. Microsoft refused to do so, and Preska could find the company in contempt of court. Microsoft could then appeal the ruling.

"We will appeal promptly and continue to advocate that people's emails deserve strong privacy protection in the U.S. and around the world," said Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith in a statement. "The only issue that was certain this morning was that the District Court's decision would not represent the final step in this process."

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China has also given Microsoft a 20-day deadline to explain alleged software compatibility and bundling issues as the tech company deals with an antitrust probe into its business practices in the Asian nation.

Separately, 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, solid stock price performance, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

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 15.6%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • MSFT's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.25 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, MSFT has a quick ratio of 2.31, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, MSFT's share price has jumped by 35.91%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 61.17% to $9,514.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 41.51%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: MSFT Ratings Report

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Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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