MSFT Jan 2021 50.000 call

OPR - OPR Delayed Price. Currency in USD
71.25
0.00 (0.00%)
As of 9:35AM EDT. Market open.
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Previous Close71.25
Open71.25
Bid71.40
Ask75.65
Strike50.00
Expire Date2021-01-15
Day's Range71.25 - 71.25
Contract RangeN/A
Volume2
Open Interest221
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But with Cisco stock up 25%+ since then, the concern is that even that bull case now is priced in.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 5 Dividend Stocks Perfect for Retirees The Cisco Stock RallyFrom a broad standpoint, there are four key drivers of the big gains in Cisco stock. First, the company's Catalyst 9000 switches have launched well, driving double-digit revenue increases. For a company that has struggled to increase sales (fiscal 2018 revenue was basically equal to FY16 levels) the new product is welcome, to say the least.Second, Cisco is adding more software to its legacy hardware products, including the Catalyst switches. That shift improves margins and adds the recurring revenue tech investors seek these days. It also allows Cisco to continue to monetize its hardware after installation, instead of receiving just a one-time sale.Third, the company continues to move into security. Like more focused players like Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW), here, too, Cisco has built out its software offering instead of focusing on just hardware. Cisco has integrated its SD-WAN products with cloud-based software, which drove double-digit growth in the second quarter.Finally, 5G is on the way, and that represents a real profit driver going forward. The adoption of that technology should help revenue, but Cisco already is investing in its development at the moment, meaning incremental costs should be lower.Obviously, there are other factors at play; this is a company that generates revenue of roughly $50 billion a year. These areas are where Cisco has an edge and an opportunity to accelerate revenue growth. Smaller rival Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR) hasn't had the same success, and while CSCO stock has soared, JNPR has been flat for basically four years now. Cisco's moves explain much of the outperformance of its stock. The Concerns with CSCO StockIn sum, the moves make Cisco sound a bit like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) earlier this decade. Microsoft had similar growth questions, and relied on a legacy market (personal computers) that seemed to have little room for growth.Then new businesses like its Azure cloud platform, a go-to-market change for Office and Windows, and smaller efforts in gaming and hardware have dramatically changed the story. MSFT has more than quadrupled since 2013, thanks to earnings growth and multiple expansion.That said, there are two concerns here. The first is whether the Microsoft model actually is in play here. While there are growth opportunities going forward (perhaps most notably in 5G) the legacy business still is flat, if not shrinking. Security was just 6% of revenue in fiscal 2018, according to figures from the 10-K. Cisco itself is guiding for just 4-6% revenue growth in the third quarter.Growth might be improving, but it's not exactly torrid and certainly not yet. Meanwhile, Cisco stock's big rise has notably changed its valuation. As recently as last year, CSCO was pricing in basically zero growth.Now, Cisco stock trades at over 18x FY19 consensus EPS. Even with the Street projecting 10% growth in FY20, that's not a hugely attractive multiple. It suggests, at the least, that Cisco's recent success will continue for years to come. And it's worth noting that Cisco stock now has outrun the average analyst target.To be sure, that doesn't mean CSCO's run is definitely over or that the stock is a sell. Strong Q3 earnings, likely due next month, can lead those estimates and price targets up. The advent of 5G probably starts contributing next year, and its growth won't end any time soon.Still, the upside looks thinner, and Cisco really can't stumble back at a high-teen P/E multiple. Investors sticking with CSCO at this price had better be sure the transformation will continue.As of this writing, Vince Martin has no positions in any securities mentioned. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 5 Dividend Stocks Perfect for Retirees * 7 Reasons the Stock Market Rally Isn't Over Yet * 10 S&P 500 Stocks to Weather the Earnings Storm Compare Brokers The post After an Impressive Run, Cisco Stock Is Starting to Cool Off appeared first on InvestorPlace.

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    Microsoft (NASDSAQ:MSFT) has been on a winning streak given its diversified business portfolio and ability to deliver growth and financial results in a timely manner. Analysts continue to rally around the stock heading into its earnings announcement on April 24, which makes sense given the momentum on the charts, and sustained interest for a variety of Microsoft’s products both for consumers, and within the enterprise as well.The growth narrative tied to Azure Cloud drives much of the upside commentary among analysts despite the growth rate from Azure is expected to decelerate over the next couple-years. MSFT still trades at a fairly reasonable valuation at 31.35x earnings. The company’s current market capitalization is $934 Billion, with psychological resistance at $1 Trillion, or $130.37. Chances are Microsoft can reach $130 within the next couple months, assuming the stock market rally continues, and investors chase stocks at higher valuations.Despite multiple expansion adding to the recent stock price gains, software companies tend to trade at a bit a premium multiple given the defensiveness plus recurring revenue of the business model. Just look at Adobe for example, which trades at 49x earnings right now, despite EPS growth expectations of 20%. Microsoft trades at 30x earnings with consensus expecting 14.1% earnings for FY’19. So, there’s definitely some room for Microsoft to trade at a higher when compared to other software companies in the segment.UBS analyst Jennifer Swanson Lowe remains optimistic on Microsoft heading into Q2’19:> Microsoft shares had a slow start to the year as concerns about slower hardware purchasing from hyperscale providers and tough compares in the transactional portions of the company's weighed on sentiment. However, our checks point to sustained demand for Azure and ongoing Windows upgrade activity as Win7 end of life looms, while a reset in expectations post Q2 should improve the setup into Q3. Stock performance has perked up in recent weeks, but valuation at ~21x EV/CY19 FCF still looks defensive, and MSFT remains one of our favorite names for CY19, offering a balance of top-line growth, margin expansion, and FCF-based valuation support.The analyst has maintained her $125 price target on MSFT, and anticipates commercial cloud revenue growth of 39% in the next quarter:> We forecast Commercial Cloud rev. growth of 39% YoY to $9.6B on the back of 66% growth in Azure and 26% rev growth in Office 365 Commercial. Our checks continue to highlight strong demand for Azure as the platform underpinning digital transformation (growth is partially impacted by relatively mature per-user business while consumption-based business continues to remain healthy. We expect Commercial Cloud gross margin to improve 100 basis points quarter-on-quarter at 63%, based on improvements in Azure partially offset by lower-margin consumption-based services.The stock clearly wants to trend higher, and Microsoft does have a fairly solid track-record of meeting or beating consensus expectations. While Microsoft is a mature growth stock, the current consensus still anticipates the stock to trade at $129 currently, which implies that the stock could reach $1T in market valuation over the next 12-months.Microsoft will need to deliver some pretty solid results and raise financial outlook to get the stock trending up to $130. It seems doable given the stock’s momentum, and the valuation comparisons to some of its other software peers. Despite the catalysts tied to earnings, the summer months should also be interesting, as there’s a number of game software companies riding on this summer’s E3 conference like Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard.At this year’s E3 2019 Conference, Microsoft is expected to announce the Xbox 2, which will launch next year, but the preview announcement could add some excitement to the stock, as it looks to renew interest in its gaming franchise. Microsoft’s gaming business produced $10.35B revenue in FY’18 making it a big enough of a business, for Microsoft to start pouring resources into it. With the opportunity to refresh its console line-up, it would be a big opportunity for Microsoft to announce more exclusive titles developed in-house to regain momentum versus Sony, and also build a larger installed base of Xbox Live subscribers from 57 million, which has grown fairly stagnant in the past four quarters.Bottom Line:Improvements in gaming related announcements along with the announcement of earnings on April 24th will add some positive sentiment to the stock. Analysts seem relatively optimistic on the company and it’s hard to mess up on the announcement of a next-generation console this year, so the buzz generating commentary will keep Microsoft relevant in the minds of consumers this year. Disclosure: The author has no position in MSFT stock.Read more: Is Microsoft (MSFT) Stock Still a Strong Pick for Growth? 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