Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) could be a solid addition to your portfolio given a notable revision in the company's earnings estimates. While the stock has been gaining lately, the trend might continue since its earnings outlook is still improving.
The rising trend in estimate revisions, which is a result of growing analyst optimism on the earnings prospects of this software maker, should get reflected in its stock price. After all, empirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock price movements. Our stock rating tool -- the Zacks Rank -- is principally built on this insight.
The five-grade Zacks Rank system, which ranges from a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record of outperformance, with Zacks #1 Ranked stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 2008.
Consensus earnings estimates for the next quarter and full year have moved considerably higher for Microsoft, as there has been strong agreement among the covering analysts in raising estimates.
The chart below shows the evolution of forward 12-month Zacks Consensus EPS estimate:
12 Month EPS
Current-Quarter Estimate Revisions
For the current quarter, the company is expected to earn $1.33 per share, which is a change of +16.67% from the year-ago reported number.
Over the last 30 days, 11 estimates have moved higher for Microsoft compared to no negative revisions. As a result, the Zacks Consensus Estimate has increased 7.31%.
Current-Year Estimate Revisions
For the full year, the earnings estimate of $5.64 per share represents a change of +18.74% from the year-ago number.
In terms of estimate revisions, the trend for the current year also appears quite encouraging for Microsoft. Over the past month, 13 estimates have moved higher compared to no negative revisions, helping the consensus estimate increase 5.38%.
Favorable Zacks Rank
The promising estimate revisions have helped Microsoft earn a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The Zacks Rank is a tried-and-tested rating tool that helps investors effectively harness the power of earnings estimate revisions and make the right investment decision. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Our research shows that stocks with Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and 2 (Buy) significantly outperform the S&P 500.
While strong estimate revisions for Microsoft have attracted decent investments and pushed the stock 9.7% higher over the past four weeks, further upside may still be left in the stock. So, you may consider adding it to your portfolio right away.