Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) reports the results from its first fiscal quarter of 2014 on Oct. 24. Goldman Sachs analysts note that the company’s near-term fundamentals haven’t been the primary focus lately. However, they’re especially concerned about Windows sales, and their estimate for the division is $180 million below Wall Street consensus.
Goldman thinks consensus for Microsoft is too high
In their report this week to investors, analysts Heather Bellini, Sonya Banerjee, Shateel Alam and Brian Baytosh are estimating revenue of $17.75 billion and earnings of 53 cents per share for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). That’s compared to average Wall Street estimates of $17.83 billion in revenue and earnings of 55 cents per share. They said their lower estimates are due to their view that Windows will be a problem area for the company in the most recently completed quarter.
They estimate that global PC shipments fell 11.5 percent year over year during the third quarter of the year. However, IDC’s preliminary data suggests that they only fell 7.6 percent year over year. They did not adjust their Windows forecast because the data from IDC is still preliminary. However, it implies a $65 million tailwind for Microsoft’s next quarterly report, which would add less than half a penny to Microsoft’s earnings per share.
The analysts also believe consensus margins are too high, but they note that Microsoft’s fundamentals aren’t what have been driving its stock recently.
Expectations for the current quarter
For Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s second fiscal quarter of the year, the Goldman Sachs analysts are estimating revenue of $22.85 billion and 70 cents per share in revenue. That’s compared to consensus estimates of $22.88 billion and 75 cents per share in earnings. Once again, they’re expecting Windows sales to be less than others are expecting. Their Windows estimate is about 5 percent below Wall Street expectations, although they said it’s “slightly offset” by their “more optimistic view” on Microsoft Business Division, which is 2 percent above consensus.
Another key part of their lower estimates is again their operating forecast, which is 33.6 percent for the last three months of the year. That’s about 50 basis points below consensus, and it factors in the launch of the Xbox One, sales from the Surface tablets, and continuing investments as Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) keeps pushing toward a greater focus on devices and services.
The Goldman Sachs analysts maintained their Sell rating and $28 per share price target on Microsoft. As of this writing, shares were up less than 1 percent.