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Microsoft's Smart Cloud Business To Generate 10% Growth In FY18, BMO Says

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Microsoft's Smart Cloud Business To Generate 10% Growth In FY18, BMO Says
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Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT)'s Azure collection of integrated cloud services will help its Intelligent Cloud business generate more than 10 percent growth in fiscal 2018, BMO Capital Markets analyst Keith Bachman estimated Friday.

“Moreover, we believe Microsoft’s advantage in the cloud includes a higher level of services, established sales relationships, and a portfolio of enterprise-ready software, demonstrated by Azure’s premium revenue growth in the triple digits and 80 percent of the Azure customers using premium services,” Bachman said in his report.

BMO continues to rate Microsoft at Outperform, with a target price of $75. At last check, Microsoft was trading at $68.36 on Friday.

Surface Sales Slacken

Microsoft’s personal computing earnings missed estimates, largely due to revenue declines of the Surface; Bachman commented, “We continue to believe the growth in consolidated operating income dollars driven by MPC (more personal computing) is unsustainable.”

However, Bachman said commercial cloud revenue growth was 52 percent in the third quarter from the year-ago period, driven by 45 percent for Office 365, 94 percent for Azure and 82 percent for Dynamics 265.

“We believe that Azure will continue to improve in profitability, and Azure’s improved operating margin performance will help stabilize and grow (Intelligent Cloud) profit levels in FY18,” he said.

Microsoft on Thursday said it was betting big on its array of cloud services to pick up the slack in Surface sales.

CEO Satya Nadella said:

    “Our results this quarter reflect the trust customers are placing in the Microsoft Cloud. From large multi-nationals to small and medium businesses to nonprofits all over the world, organizations are using Microsoft’s cloud platforms to power their digital transformation.”

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Latest Ratings for MSFT

DateFirmActionFromTo
Feb 2018Morgan StanleyMaintainsOverweightOverweight
Feb 2018NomuraMaintainsBuyBuy
Feb 2018Canaccord GenuityMaintainsBuyBuy

View More Analyst Ratings for MSFT
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