Microsoft Escapes Earnings Hangman (MSFT)

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Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) has posted its earnings after the close and the tempering of estimates before earnings seems to have been more or less the right call. The software giant’s second quarter earnings came in at $0.78 EPS on sales of $20.89 billion. Thomson Reuters had estimates of $0.76 EPS and $20.93 billion in sales. 

The company offers earnings and sales guidance in its conference call, so consider this report as unfinished business.  Here is the consensus: For the coming quarter, estimates are $0.61 EPS and $17.53 billion in sales.  For fiscal June-2012, the current estimates are $2.72 EPS and almost $74.5 billion in sales.
 
Microsoft also said that its cash and equivalents came in at $10.6 billion, but it listed its short-term investments as being $41.1 billion.

Shares were at the highest pre-earnings handle that they have been in a year.  After closing at $28.12, the after-hours report has shares up 2% at $28.75 and the 52-week range is $23.65 to $29.46.

Before seeing any analyst call notes tomorrow and the day after, the consensus price target (mean target) from Thomson Reuters is $31.14.  Shares closed out 2011 close to $26.00 and the 50-day moving average is $26.21 and the 200-day moving average is $25.65.

Until you get guidance in the conference call, this should be considered unfinished business.

JON C. OGG

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