Is Microsoft a good stock to buy? Should you reconsider buying MSFT stock?

While Microsoft's strong financials and strategic acquisitions inspires confidence, concerns arise regarding valuation and future growth paths

Trading Strategies

Microsoft Corporation, founded in 1975 and headquartered in Redmond, Washington, is a global leader in software, services, devices, and solutions. Its offerings span across Productivity and Business Processes, including Office 365, LinkedIn, and Dynamics 365; Intelligent Cloud services like Azure and GitHub; and More Personal Computing, encompassing Windows OEM licensing, Surface devices, Xbox gaming, and Bing search. Microsoft also provides support services, consulting, and training to assist customers in deploying and managing its solutions, selling products through various channels worldwide.

What are the risks of investing in Microsoft stock?

Investing in Microsoft stock carries several risks despite its impressive performance in 2023. While the company's market capitalization nears $3 trillion, limiting potential growth, optimism persists due to opportunities in artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud services.

Microsoft's diverse sales segments, including software services and cybersecurity, offset weaknesses in other areas. The company's financial strength is evident in its high profitability and cash flow, with operating profit reaching $27 billion and cash balances rising to $80 billion in fiscal Q1.

However, the risk lies in paying a high price for the stock, with a price-to-sales ratio of 13 times annual sales, up from 9 in early 2023. While solid returns may be possible, cautious investors may prefer to monitor the stock for a potential entry point at a lower price, although Microsoft is expected to continue setting sales and profit records in the future.

Is Microsoft a Good Stock to Buy?

The latest financial results for the second quarter of fiscal year 2024 reveal significant advancements, particularly in the realms of Productivity and Business Processes, Intelligent Cloud, and More Personal Computing. Here's a closer look at the key highlights that demonstrate Microsoft's dominance and success in innovation.

Microsoft's Productivity and Business Processes segment has seen an impressive revenue jump to $19.2 billion, marking a 13% increase, with notable achievements across various sectors:

Office Commercial Products and Cloud Services: Revenue soared by 15%, propelled by an exceptional 17% growth in Office 365 Commercial revenue.

Office Consumer Products and Cloud Services: Experienced a 5% rise, while Microsoft 365 Consumer subscribers surged to 78.4 million.

LinkedIn: The professional networking platform contributed with a 9% revenue increase.

Dynamics Products and Cloud Services: Stood out with a remarkable 21% revenue growth, largely due to Dynamics 365's impressive 27% rise.

The Intelligent Cloud segment has outperformed expectations, with revenue reaching $25.9 billion, up by 20%.

This growth is attributed primarily to Server Products and Cloud Services, which saw a 22% increase, driven by Azure and other cloud services that boasted a 30% revenue growth.

The More Personal Computing segment also reported positive results, with revenue of $16.9 billion, up by 19%. However, the performance varied across different categories:

Windows: Demonstrated solid growth with a 9% increase in revenue, supported by both OEM and commercial product sectors.

Devices: Faced a slight setback with a 9% decline in revenue.

Xbox Content and Services: Emerged as a standout performer, with revenue skyrocketing by 61%, significantly boosted by the Activision acquisition.

Search and News Advertising: Also saw an 8% revenue increase, excluding traffic acquisition costs.


Amidst these developments, Microsoft has not lost sight of its commitment to shareholders, returning a substantial $8.4 billion through share repurchases and dividends.

Is Microsoft stock Overvalued or Undervalued?

Morningstar's analysis of Microsoft's recent fiscal second-quarter earnings report suggests that despite impressive results and a positive outlook, the stock is currently fairly valued, indicating neither overvaluation nor undervaluation.

With a long-term fair value estimate of $420 per share, Morningstar emphasizes Azure's strength and the company's wide moat rating, driven by switching costs and network effects. While acknowledging risks such as revenue decline in traditional products and past acquisition challenges, Microsoft's strong position in cloud services and productivity software, along with its strategic acquisitions like LinkedIn and GitHub, are viewed as positive factors.

However, concerns about slowing momentum in subscription-based services and Microsoft's limited presence in mobile technology are noted by skeptics. Overall, the analysis suggests a balanced perspective on Microsoft's stock valuation, leaning neither towards being overvalued nor undervalued.

The reality is that Microsoft is experiencing massive growth for such a large, diversified company. From cybersecurity to search to gaming, it's driving forward to be in an elite position as the top provider. The diversity of revenues and revenue models mean the company can insulate from economic slowdowns more so than others and as such, the company deserves a premium valuation.

It's currently trading at a P/E valuation of 37, which is quite high historically.

The valuation is driven largely by the possibility the company could steal market share away from Google in search advertising, which was $100 billion opportunity in the U.S. alone and estimated to be worth $318 billion globally in the next few years. The primary way Microsoft can do this is by luring users into their search tools with ChatGPT and Microsoft Teams. By keeping users within the Microsoft products, the company can direct search traffic and thus serve up more ads to its massive user base.

Google, once thought of as caught off guard by the quick adoption of ChatGPT, is now playing catchup and throwing every resource they can at ensuring Microsoft does not dethrone them as the Search leader. They stakes are high and it's likely both companies will reduce their profits in the near term to win the AI search race. But Google has far more to lose and Microsoft has everything to gain.

Is Microsoft a good stock to buy long-term?

Given Microsoft's remarkable 65% surge in the past year, shareholders might ponder whether to capitalize on profits or hold for further long-term gains. The tech giant's robust performance, evident in its recent quarterly revenue increase of 13% to $56.5 billion and a 27% surge in earnings per share, particularly fueled by a 29% rise in Azure and other cloud services revenue, underscores its potential for sustained growth.

With analysts forecasting a 15% compound annualized growth rate in earnings per share over the next five years and the stock trading at reasonable multiples of 39 times earnings and 36 times forward earnings, Microsoft appears poised for continued success.

Additionally, its consistent dividend growth, supported by a low payout ratio of 26%, further solidifies its appeal. While there may be short-term fluctuations, the long-term outlook for Microsoft suggests it's a stock worth holding, as it continues to deliver on both financial and strategic fronts.

Levelfields.Ai Profile Page for Microsoft

Why not to buy Microsoft stock?

Investors consider refraining from purchasing Microsoft stock due to its soaring market capitalization nearing $3 trillion, which may limit future growth potential.

Despite its diversified revenue streams and promising prospects in AI and cloud services, Microsoft's impressive financials, including a high operating profit margin of 48% and substantial cash reserves, have already been factored into its valuation, which now stands at around 13 times annual sales.

While the company continues to exhibit strong sales and profit trends, investors may want to exercise caution and monitor the stock for a potential opportunity to buy at a lower price, as the current valuation may already reflect much of its future success.

Why is Microsoft a good stock to buy?

Investors find Microsoft's stock appealing due to its significant growth, particularly in enterprise technology spending and artificial intelligence (AI), driving a robust 50% increase in its stock price, outperforming the Nasdaq Composite.

Microsoft's expanding portfolio of software services, especially in AI, enhances its long-term growth potential, evident in its 23% growth in the cloud segment and a 12% rise in overall revenue, despite sluggish hardware results. Additionally, Microsoft boasts remarkable profitability, with a gross profit of $40 billion, or 71% of sales, last quarter, and strong operating income, making it one of the most profitable large companies globally.

However, the premium valuation, nearly 13 times sales, poses a risk of underwhelming returns, despite Microsoft's compelling growth prospects across various software sectors. Nonetheless, for investors wary of the current price, opportunities for entry may arise during market or tech sector pullbacks, providing a more favorable entry point for this standout tech entity.

Those looking for chances to buy Microsoft would do well by following major events affecting the company, such as those tracked by LevelFields AI. By knowing about these events and how to trade them, buyers can benefit from volatility and pick up shares during pullbacks or sell shares when the stock tops out.

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