UBS Securities has jacked up its price target for Microsoft Corp. shares by about 8 per cent after the software colossus turned in a much better third quarter than Wall Street had been expecting and raised its guidance for next year. Analyst Heather Bellini, who rates the shares a "buy," told clients in a note Friday that she now expects the stock to hit $40 (U.S.) in twelve months, up from $37. This came after the Redmond, Wash., company reported late Thursday that its quarterly revenue came in at $13.8-billion and share profit at 45 cents, exceeding consensus forecasts by $1.2-billion and 6 cents, respectively. "We view last night's results as a likely game changer in terms of sentiment on the shares, especially given our view that many in the market have been underweight," Ms. Bellini said. Microsoft shares have been a key driver of U.S. market gains today. Its shares are currently at about $34.76 on Nasdaq, up $2.77, having traded as high as $36.03.