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Pro Analysis

Buy Microsoft on triple-digit cloud sales growth and solid dividend, top analyst says

Customers at Microsoft's store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
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Customers at Microsoft's store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Investors should purchase Microsoft shares on its cloud sales boom and attractive dividend, according to Stifel, which reiterated its buy rating on the software maker.

The company reported better-than-expected fiscal first quarter earnings results Thursday.

"Microsoft printed a strong start to FY17, with F1Q17 total revenue, revenue across each segment, commercial deferred revenue, EPS, CFFO, and FCF above guidance, our estimates, and consensus forecasts," analyst Brad Reback wrote in a note to clients Friday.

"Overall, this quarter continues to reinforce our bullish thesis. ... We remain buyers and raise our target price."

Reback's picks have a 14 percent one-year average return and a 69 percent success rate for a profit, according to analyst ranking service TipRanks. That places him in the top 3 percent of all Wall Street analysts covering any industry.