Shares of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) were climbing higher nearly 1% during midday trading on Monday following a bullish note from Morgan Stanley.
The firm contends that Microsoft's Azure business, its Cloud unit, will flourish in conjunction with the latest technology trends.
Morgan Stanley analyst Keith Weiss reiterated his "Overweight" rating on Microsoft, predicting the company will report stronger-than-expected profits next year due to cloud computing demand.
He increased his price target on the stock to $80 from $72.
Microsoft's "top line drivers include the Azure (Microsoft emerging as a public cloud winner), data center (share gains and positive pricing trends), and O365 [Office 365] (base growth and per user pricing lift)," Weiss wrote.
"With a strengthening secular positioning and rationalization of underperforming portions of the solution portfolio, Microsoft is back to showing durable double-digit EPS growth - and investors should be willing to pay a higher multiple for that growth," he added.
Weiss contended how the growing "machine learning" trend will also drive demand for the company's Azure cloud computing services and it could add up to $110 billion in market value for Microsoft.
What's Hot On the TheStreet
All eyes on Apple this week: Apple's (AAPL) stock will be on the minds of Wall Street bit more than the norm this week. Shares of the tech giant have fallen 6.9% since the Nasdaq's peak on June 8 amid a broader selloff in tech. Not helping near-term sentiment on the company are two rare analyst downgrades that have questioned how big a seller the iPhone 8 will be.
But investors shouldn't be ready to throw in the towel on Apple by any stretch of the imagination.
"When you have these sellers come in, all you have to do is wait them out -- and one of the things I learned as a hedge fund manager is that patience is a true virtue," TheStreet's founder Jim Cramer, who also manages the Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust portfolio, said on Apple's recent slide.
After the deal was announced on Friday, U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) urged the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct a review on the merger's legality and possible harm to the economy.
"I am concerned about what this deal means for suppliers and neighborhood grocery stores," Khanna said in a statement. "The Justice Department and FTC must undertake a review that considers not just the merger's impact on prices, but also the impact on jobs and wages. We need to reorient antitrust policy to factor in the harm that economic concentration causes for American workers."
Meanwhile, Whole Foods shares are trading above Amazon's offer price as to suggest a bidding war may ensue.