Equity prospects

Microsoft

Sam Statham, Research Assistant

Price$110.89

52 week high-low$116.18-$80.70

Net yield1.6%

Hist / pros per28.6-24.9

Equity market cap$857,059m

When you think of Microsoft you typically think of its Windows operating system. This is however only a small part of its diversified technology empire. Microsoft has ventured into a number of different markets over the years with varying degrees of success.

Recently, the company has moved to reporting by three broad operating segments: More Personal Computing (Windows, Gaming and Search Advertisement), Productivity & Business Processes (LinkedIn, Skype, Office 365 and Dynamics 365) and Intelligent Cloud (Server Products and Cloud Servicing).

Although there has been recent sales growth across much of Microsoft’s product lines, the largest contributor has come from Cloud Servicing. Microsoft has benefitted from its positioning in this segment which has been driven by a shift in the way that some businesses manage their Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) infrastructure. By moving to a cloud solution, businesses no longer have to contend with maintaining their own servers - in order to manage their data and software applications – but can use Microsoft’s via the internet (“The Cloud”). Not only can there be cost benefits to this, but also productivity benefits through the use of Microsoft’s cloud analytics.

Competition is however fierce with tech heavy weights such as Amazon and Google also competing within the space. Microsoft also faces the challenge of convincing businesses that their ICT infrastructure is secure whilst being hosted on The Cloud.

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