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Today’s video takes a closer look at Microsoft Corp. (MSFT - Analyst Report) ahead of its fiscal 2017 first quarter earnings report. This company has seen its stock price trend upward throughout 2016, gaining 3.14% year-to-date and currently trading around $57 per share, a positive sign for investors.

This past quarter, Microsoft reported an EPS surprise of 18.97%, which correlates with their Momentum score of ‘B.’ Investors looking to enter the market might want to consider purchasing MSFT now, due to the positive grades and analysis of Zacks Rank. A Zacks Rank #3 (Hold)-rated stock, MSFT is expected to see year-over-year earnings and sales growth of 1.19% and 5.68%, respectively, for this quarter. Investors should note that Microsoft has outperformed earnings expectations in five out of the past six quarters.

Being in the COMP-SOFTWARE industry, Microsoft has to deal with intense competition. Recently, rival company Google has caused some concern for the company. In addition, Microsoft faces increased challenges in the smartphone market, as well as high competition between itself, Nintendo (NTDOY), and Sony (SNE) in the gaming industry. The company needs to show investors it is keeping up with their rivals in major industries and markets in order to gain more trust in their stock.

Microsoft reports on October 20th after the bell, and we are looking for earnings of 68 cents per share, down from EPS of 69 cents posted last quarter, and revenues of $21.536 billion. Make sure to watch the video for a quick guide to MSFT heading into the report. If you want to learn more about trading in the earnings season, check out our podcast below:

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