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Microsoft May be Worth a Look Here

Windows 8 has gotten bad reviews, its mobile push has stalled and it’s facing a murky market for corporate software.  But despite all those headaches, Microsoft Corp.(MSFT) has seen its stock rising.  The software giant’s shares have jumped 14% over the past three months.  The stock has a current dividend yield of 2.82% and is a regular 15% per year dividend increase stock.  The Company will unveil the new X-box next month.  The worst may be behind this software giant.

Microsoft reported Q3 results of $20.489 billion in revenue and EPS of $0.72, compared to consensus of $20.497 billion in revenue and EPS of $0.68.

Microsoft reported March quarter EPS and operating margin ahead of consensus expectations with increased expense controls, while revenue was essentially in line with consensus expectations—with Windows, Microsoft Business Division, and Server & Tools sales falling slightly below estimates and the Online Services and Entertainment & Devices divisions exceeding forecasts. Although the PC market continues to put pressure on Windows and Office revenue and server shipments have been slow, Microsoft effectively managed expenses during the quarter and reported improving growth in OSD and Windows Phone.

Going forward, although PC shipments are expected to remain weak in the June quarter, we expect the combination of more attractive price points, the ramp of new chipsets from Intel, and greater adoption by OEMs of touch screens for ultrabooks and laptops to drive greater adoption of Windows 8 devices in the second half of 2013 and into 2014 than the market appreciates (particularly in the business user segment with the eventual release of Surface Pro 2). Furthermore, we expect the end-of-life of Windows XP in April 2014 to drive growth in the professional PC segment.

Based on these dynamics, we believe that the rate of decline in PC shipments is bottoming, and with continued better-than-expected cost controls, improving OSD and Windows Phone revenue, a new Xbox cycle on the horizon, and solid long-term competitive positioning and near-term product launches in MBD and S&T, we expect Microsoft’s recent outperformance to continue.

Our fiscal 2013 estimates are adjusted to revenue of $78.812 billion and EPS of $2.68 from revenue of $81.514 billion and EPS of $2.78.

We maintain our Outperform rating and our target price of $38. At a 9.7x NTM P/E multiple, Microsoft trades at a 33.8% discount to the S&P 500.

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