Survey gives Morgan Stanley confidence 'secular can trump cyclical' at Microsoft
Morgan Stanley analyst Keith Weiss said the firm's survey of 100 U.S. and European CIOs points to "strong" 2019 IT budget growth expectations of 4.7% year-over-year, which he notes is relatively in line with the 4.9% budget growth expected for 2018. The slight deceleration comes mostly from weaker European spending plans, as growth expectations among U.S. CIOs actually steps up to 5.5% growth called for in 2019 versus 5.3% for 2018, Weiss added. While investors' concerns about the durability of software growth broadly, and the durability of the more cyclical aspects of the Microsoft portfolio, are rising, the CIO survey gives Weiss confidence that the strong secular demand trends driving Microsoft's top-line should trump potential cyclical headwinds, he tells investors. Weiss keeps an Overweight rating on Microsoft with a $130 price target.