Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) reported a quarterly profit ahead of expectations on better-than-expected sales of personal computers. Microsoft’s results on Thursday boosted optimism in the company, with at least four brokers raising their price targets on the stock.
The world’s largest software maker has been cornered by rivals Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) in the consumer-electronics market. The success of its competitors has forced Microsoft to reinvent itself as technology evolves and demand for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets increases.
Microsoft will soon launch a new tablet-friendly version of Windows, which has received positive reviews in the media. A Barclays analyst said in a research note to clients that Microsoft’s product launches should create a positive mix effect on gross margin, as was the case in two previous Windows launches.
Microsoft shares closed at $31.01 on Thursday on the Nasdaq, rising to $32.12 in trading before the bell. Microsoft shares reached a 4-year high of $32.95 last month, but have since declined 6 percent