Microsoft shares rallied today following a positive report from analysts at Piper Jaffray. They raised their price target from $53 to $64 per share and reiterated their Overweight rating on the tech firm. Shares of Microsoft edged higher by as much as 0.92% today to $54 per share during regular trading hours after closing in the red on Tuesday.
Microsoft’s Xbox brings success
Piper Jaffray Senior Research analyst Katherine Egbert said in her report dated Nov. 10 that so far, Halo 5: Guardians seems to be the most successful game in the franchise so far. Based on the success of this one game and the Xbox business in general, she raised her price target for Microsoft and reiterated her Overweight rating.
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Halo 5 was launched on Oct. 27 and quickly became the best-selling digital game on the Xbox store during the week of launch. Gamers logged over 21 million hours on the game that week, generating $400 million in revenue for Microsoft just from that single game in one week. Its predecessor Halo 4 generated $300 million in sales on its first week and $220 million on its first day.
Microsoft’s Xbox going through resurgence
Egbert seems encouraged by the appointment of the new Xbox chief in March 2014 as since then, Microsoft has “made up some ground” against Sony’s PlayStation 4. The company cut the price on the Xbox, unbundled the Kinect accessory from it and began stressing its exclusive content. While the analyst doesn’t think Halo 5 will bring the Xbox One into the top spot this year, but she believes it will solidify the console’s second place position while helping it make up ground lost to the PlayStation 4.
She also believes that the resurgence in the Xbox business and the Halo franchise is a symptom of a wider resurgence going on throughout Microsoft. She sees the transition toward a growth strategy that is more focused on consumers and the company’s new leaders with their decisions to “untie” the “past, often defensive principles” put in place by previous management as the keys to future success.