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Microsoft is trading at 3580, a touch higher than it was when first-quarter results were announced at the end of October. Q1 earnings exceeded expectations, with the firm posting earnings per share (EPS) of $0.62 and revenue of $18.53 billion, easily above the $0.54 and $17.8 billion respectively forecast. Microsoft found it easier to top expectations in October because estimates had been lowered due to the firm writing off $900 million in relation to unsold tablets in the previous quarter.
Microsoft will announce its second-quarter earnings after the closing bell, at 9pm (London time) on Thursday. Stock volatility can increase after earnings announcements, and IG now offers Microsoft ‘All sessions’, which enables clients to trade the stock outside exchange hours,
Declining PC sales will put Microsoft’s other products and services into focus. Investors will be scrutinising the announcement for updates on matters such as the integration of the Nokia phone operation and the search for a new CEO.
The share price has retraced from the recent high in December, but if the stock breaks through the resistance level of 3700 it could head towards the 3900 mark.
Microsoft hasn’t had a weekly close below 3600 since the end of December. However, if the results are poor and it closes under 3600 on Friday, it could drift towards the 3400 level.