1 Number Microsoft Stock Investors Should Know Ahead of Earnings


How painful is it to own shares of Microsoft stock right now? Plenty. Just when shares of Mr. Softy were rallying on news that the company was making a smart and well-times appeal to small-business owners who have yet to upgrade to Windows 8, IDC reports that the PC business is coming apart at the seams. Shares of Dell , Hewlett-Packard , and Intel also fell sharply following the report.

The timing stinks for Microsoft, which is due to report earnings on Thursday. It's a sure bet investors will be looking for an update on not only on WIndows 8 licenses sold (60 million, according to Mr. Softy's last estimate) but also on Windows 8 PCs in use today. IDC's data isn't encouraging.

For its part, Wall Street is expecting Q1 revenue to grow 18.8% to $20.68 billion, resulting in $0.76 of profit per share. The company beat earnings estimates in three of the past four quarters, only to suffer a 5.4% miss in the September quarter, according to data supplied by Yahoo! Finance. Microsoft stock is down nearly 7% over that period.

Would a beat help Microsoft stock kick off a sustained rally? Tim Beyers of Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova weighs in on this question in the following video. Please watch and then leave a comment to let us know whether you would buy, sell, or short Microsoft stock at current prices.

For further analysis of Microsoft's global ambitions, try our newest premium research report in which we dissect Mr. Softy's sprawling empire and tell you what the company is really worth, and whether the stock deserves a place in your portfolio. Access your report now by clicking here.

The article 1 Number Microsoft Stock Investors Should Know Ahead of Earnings originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out Tim's Web home and portfolio holdings, or connect with him on Google+, Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.The Motley Fool recommends Intel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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