Microsoft stock set to hit $400 as it becomes ‘cloud behemoth,’ analyst says

Microsoft (MSFT) reported its fiscal Q1 2022 earnings on Tuesday, smashing Wall Street’s expectations, as cloud revenue jumped 36% year-over-year. And according to at least one analyst, that could light a fire under the company’s stock.

“I think this is just more fuel in the engine to drive this stock higher,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives told Yahoo Finance Live. “It just shows [Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella] in this cloud arms race is continuing to gain share.”

According to Ives, Microsoft, which has seen its stock jump 39% year-to-date to $310.11 a share as of Tuesday, is set to cross the $400 threshold. The stock was up just over 3% on Wednesday morning, trading at roughly $319 a share.

For the quarter, Microsoft’s cloud services generated $20.7 billion in revenue. The company is second in terms of cloud market share behind Amazon (AMZN), and ahead of Google (GOOGGOOGL) and IBM (IBM).

The corporate cloud is still in its early days, and spending is expected to continue to increase as more firms ditch their own on-premises servers and rent out cloud computing capabilities. And the increased move to remote work has only added to that. What’s more, Ives doesn’t believe that a return to office work for employees will hurt Microsoft’s cloud business, either.

“Go back the last six months, the haters will say that this is going to be a decelerating cloud, because of a COVID pull forward, instead it’s the opposite,” Ives said.

Microsoft, of course, isn’t just seeing growth in its cloud business. It’s also continuing to do well in terms of sales of its PC business.

The company, which launched its new Windows 11 operating system on Oct. 5, has grown its More Personal Computing segment by 15% year-over-year. But the ongoing chip shortage could bite into that going forward as chips for desktops and laptops become scarce and more expensive.

The chip shortage has also stung Microsoft’s gaming business, which falls under the More Personal Computing segment,. The company’s Xbox Series X and Series S consoles are still incredibly hard to come by nearly a year after they hit the market. And third-party sellers are charging nearly double their starting prices of $499 and $299, respectively.

To Ives, however, that’s simply “noise” next to the larger cloud story at Microsoft.

“This is all about the cloud transformation,” he said. “They’ve turned into a cloud behemoth at Microsoft. This is a $2 trillion market that’s still…

 

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