Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Hints at Rumored ‘Surface Phone”

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While Apple and Samsung continue to dominate the smartphone space, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) also still has a foot in the door to a still growing smartphone market. While the company has continued to surprise many within the industry after hiring a new CEO, Satya Nadella, early last year, the smartphone market has been one they have yet been able to completely crack.

This may be about to change according to some recent hints provided by the company’s CMO Chris Capossela. In a recent episode of WIndows Weekly, a podcast by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Capossela said, “I think we have to do more breakthrough work” to make Apple fans “pause before they buy their 17th iPhone.”

Capossela also pointed out that the company’s Surface Pro tablet lineup has been a success because it was able to affectively merge a tablet and a laptop into one easy-to-use device, and that such an appropach may be required within the smartphone space. Could this be the approach that Microsoft is willing to take with their rumored ‘Surface Phone’? I think so. The stock is up 0.36% or $0.2 following the news, hitting $55.87 per share. About 13.38 million shares traded hands. MSFT has risen 18.70% since May 22, 2015 and is uptrending. It has outperformed the S&P500 by 21.76%.

From a total of 16 analysts covering Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) stock, 12 rate it a “Buy”, 1 a “Sell”, and 3 a “Hold”. This means that 75% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $65 while the lowest target price is $20. The mean of all analyst targets is $52.86 which is -5.39% below today’s ($55.87) stock price. Microsoft Corporation was the topic of 32 analyst reports since July 22, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Goldman Sachs upgraded shares on December 18 to a “Neutral” rating. Vetr upgraded shares to a”Strong-Buy” rating and a $47.60 target share price in their report from a September 2. Raymond James upgraded MSFT stock in a recent report from November 30 to a “Strong Buy” rating. Global Equities Research maintained the rating on August 28. Global Equities Research has a “Overweight” rating and a $50 price target on shares. Finally, Piper Jaffray maintained the stock with a “Overweight” rating in a report they issued on a November 10.

The institutional sentiment increased to 1.08 in Q2 2015. It’s up 0.32, from 0.76 in 2015Q2. The ratio increased, as 69 funds sold all their Microsoft Corporation shares they owned while 801 reduced their positions. 93 funds bought stakes while 843 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 5.20 billion shares which is 8.27% less than the previous share count of 5.67 billion in 2015Q2.

Cook & Bynum Capital Management Llc holds 25.5% of its total portfolio in Microsoft Corporation, equating to 717,081 shares. Rwwm Inc. owns 895,414 shares representing 19.69% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Valueact Holdings L.P. has 19.37% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 75.27 million shares. The California-based Smithwood Advisers L.P. has a total of 17.28% of their portfolio invested in the stock. Deccan Value Investors L.P., a Connecticut-based fund reported 2.26 million shares owned.

Since April 28, 2015, the stock had 0 buys, and 4 sales for a total of $370.34 million in net activity. Gates William H Iii sold 4.00M shares worth $185.75 million. Turner Brian Kevin sold 69,158 shares worth $3.16M. Capossela Christopher C sold 4,485 shares worth $218,464. Brod Frank H sold 4,500 shares worth $215,294.

Microsoft Corporation is engaged in developing, licensing and supporting a range of software services and products. The company has a market cap of $446.61 billion. The Firm also creates and sells hardware, and delivers online advertising to the customers. It has 37.54 P/E ratio. The Firm operates in five divisions: Devices and Consumer Licensing, D&C Hardware, D&C Other, Commercial Licensing, and Commercial Other.

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