Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Signs Major Deal With Taboola For MSN Monetization

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While there has been some speculation as to what may become of Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) MSN website, today the company made a major announcement related to how they will be showing content and monetizing the site, which was once devoted to original content.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has apparently signed a major deal with the content recommendation platform, Taboola to provide content via article recommendations as well as ads on the website. By providing conent which doubles as ads, Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) will be able to bring in more revenue, while not having to display ads which are intrusive.

“MSN is one of the largest global publishers, aggregators and distributors of premium content online, enabling our media partners worldwide to reach hundreds of millions of consumers every month,” said Joe Cepollina, Universal Store Principal Program Manager Lead of Microsoft. “Through our relationship with Taboola, we have built a new pillar of scalable monetization while giving our audiences a more deeply immersive and personalized content experience.”

The stock closed at $52.3 during the last trading session. It is up 14.37% since June 8, 2015 and is uptrending. It has outperformed the S&P500 by 19.06%.

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 1.07% above today’s ($52.3) 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 improved, 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 $185.75M. 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 $417.77 billion. The Firm also creates and sells hardware, and delivers online advertising to the customers. It has 35.14 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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