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Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Rules The Headlines

While the latest Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) headline about a former employee stealing Windows 8 trade secrets might be overshadowing the latest product news, analysts are still more interested in the company’s recent product announcements. Some analysts, including Raymond James analyst Michael Turits, are excited about the potential Office for iPad opportunity and are recommending HOLD MSFT. While other analysts, such as Goldman Sachs analyst Heather Bellini, are advising SELL Microsoft after hearing about their deal to acquire Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V)’s handset business.

Earlier this week Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), announced that they will hold a media event on March 27th where it is rumored they will announce a version of Microsoft Office for Apple’s iPad. After hearing this news, Michael Turits reiterated his HOLD rating, noting that, “we see a break from the historical Windows-first strategy, which seems to have survived through the departure of Steven Sinofsky, as extremely important, particularly in view of the success of Android and Chrome on mobile and laptops. Initially Office looked like a carrot to get users onto Windows 8 tablets, a strategy which has not resulted in any meaningful Windows 8 tablet revenue. This therefore looks like all upside to us, with Microsoft now able to monetize high-margin Office software across the iPad base independent of the Windows OS.”

Michael has a history successfully recommending Microsoft, including his recommendation to BUY Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) in January of this year. Michael noted, “Windows 8 hasn’t deflected the downward course of PC shipments thus far. We expect the acid test to come in the second half of 2013 with improved [manufacturers’] hardware and distribution, and increasing value of both the enterprise and home ecosystem.” This recommendation earned Michael +9.7% over S&P-500, helping him earn a +6.8% average return over S&P-500 with a 67% success rate of recommendations.

However, analyst Heather Bellini is recommending SELL Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) after hearing the news that Microsoft wants to acquire Nokia’s handset business. Heather argued, “Our European Telecommunications Services Research team believes Nokia’s business has weakened over the six month period since Microsoft provided guidance on the transaction’s impact, and as such we see downside risk to Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V)’s earnings impact in the near-term, unless offset by additional cost cuts.” Heather has a -0.4% average return over S&P-500 and a 48% success rate of recommendations.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is making big strides in its business strategy, but not all analysts are convinced they are making the right moves. Before you make your next financial move, download TipRanks to review each analyst’s past recommendation performances and start making informed financial decisions with advice you can trust.