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Microsoft Bulls Abound as Shares Rise to Record Before Earnings

  • Analysts hike price targets as much as 13% ahead of 4Q
  • Stock has risen 24% this year as cloud push gains momentum
Bloomberg business news
What to Watch for in Microsoft's Fourth-Quarter Results

Microsoft Corp. is trading at a record high as it prepares to release its latest quarterly results. And Wall Street keeps sounding a bullish call for the world’s largest software maker.

The company now has 31 buy ratings, up from 26 at the start of this year and the most since late 2010. While analysts’ earnings-per-share estimates are little changed since May, their average price target for the stock has climbed. They predict the shares will increase 7.5 percent over the next 12 months, compared with a 5.5 percent average gain seen among the 36 stocks in the S&P Supercomposite Software Industry Index.