Microsoft Gets Price-Target Increase On Strength In Artificial Intelligence

Jan 13, 2018 | 2445 Views

As its stock hit a record high Friday, Microsoft's (MSFT) price target was raised on the view that its products and initiatives around artificial intelligence are undervalued.

KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Brent Bracelin raised his price target on Microsoft to 106 from 94 and maintained a rating of overweight.

"After meeting with senior leaders at Microsoft who are spearheading new AI products and initiatives, we came away impressed with Microsoft's AI product scope, ambitions to differentiate, and the three-year potential to capitalize on this wide-open market opportunity," Bracelin wrote in a research note to clients.

Microsoft shares climbed 1.7% to close at 89.60 on the stock market today, setting a new closing high.

Bracelin said he met with senior leaders at Microsoft last month and came away "very impressed by Microsoft's AI platform and the traction with embedding and implementing AI services in the enterprise."

Microsoft is battling it out with Google owner Alphabet (GOOGL) and Amazon (AMZN) in AI, with all three using the technology in a variety of fields, including personal digital assistants. Amazon incorporates AI into its Echo line of smart speakers, as does Alphabet with its Google Home.

Bracelin also raised his estimates on Microsoft share gains in cloud computing, where it's also fighting a battle with Alphabet and Amazon.

"Microsoft has successfully pivoted to become one of the key beneficiaries of a shift to the cloud, digital, and the nascent but emerging wave of artificial intelligence," Bracelin wrote.

Microsoft will report quarterly results after the market close Jan. 31. Analysts will be looking for updates on the impact of new tax legislation, including repatriation of offshore cash. They'll also seek an update on the performance of Microsoft's cloud-computing operation, which has been gaining on market leader Amazon.

Alphabet shares added 1.7% to 1,130.65, also hitting a new closing high. Amazon also set a new closing record, climbing 2.2% to 1,305.20

Source: Investors