Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

A Microsoft logo is seen in Los Angeles, Calif.

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Shares of Microsoft Corp. were set to open at a record high on Friday, after the company reported another blockbuster quarter, backed by growth in its legacy software business and Azure cloud computing services.

Shares of one of the technology world’s oldest and best-known names rose 4 per cent to US$108.50 in trading before the bell, potentially adding nearly US$32-billion to a market capitalization that was already US$802-billion at close on Thursday.

At least six brokerages raised their price targets on the company’s stock after the results.

Story continues below advertisement

Helped by a boom in demand for cloud-based software, Microsoft has more than doubled in value since Satya Nadella took over as chief executive in 2014 and refocused the software behemoth on newer businesses.

While Microsoft’s core productivity and business processes unit, which includes the Office 365 software suite, rose 13.1 per cent to US$9.67-billion, revenue for the Azure cloud service jumped 89 per cent.

“Based on the results, they were able to beat on all major metrics that people were focusing on. I don’t see anything that should raise an eyebrow of concern,” said Daniel Morgan, a portfolio manager at Synovus Trust who holds 418,716 Microsoft shares.

Microsoft has been investing heavily to bolster the fast-growing cloud business and catch up with market leader Amazon.com Inc.’s Amazon Web Services.

It also competes with Alphabet Inc., IBM and Alibaba.

“Our early investments in the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge are paying off, and we will continue to expand our reach in large and growing markets with differentiated innovation,” Mr. Nadella said on a conference call on Thursday.

Analysts expect the investments to pay off in the long run and provide rich dividends to shareholders, allowing Microsoft to rival Apple Inc. and Amazon in the race to be the first company worth US$1-trillion.

Story continues below advertisement

“Our view on MSFT is unchanged: The stock is our favourite large cap name and we expect MSFT to deliver 10-20 per cent annual stock price appreciation for the next several years,” Canaccord Genuity analyst Richard Davis wrote in a client note.

Of the 35 analysts covering the stock, 31 have a “buy” or higher rating, three are on “hold” and only one on “strong sell.”

“Microsoft has successfully come from behind to exceed Amazon’s cloud revenue, and that gap is only increasing in Microsoft’s favour,” Mark Sami, vice-president at consultancy firm SPR said.

“I predict that Microsoft’s cloud market share will continue to grow and impress investors.”

Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies