Microsoft Is ‘Not Dead Yet,’ Say Wall Street Pros

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Facebook and LinkedIn earnings had Wall Street buzzing about social media and mobile this week. But investors may not want to ignore less cool Microsoft, say analysts.

Facebook generated excitement last week when its earnings release showed growth in mobile ad revenue and got investors excited that its mobile strategy is starting to pay off.

"The migration from desktop to mobile looked like a threat a year ago," Kevin Landis, CIO of Firsthand Funds, told CNBC. "Now it looks like it plays to their advantage, particularly when you bring in the idea of new Facebook Home."

With more than 1 billion people already socializing and few competitors, Facebook can build something "really awesome," Landis said.

(Read More: Facebook 'Isn't Cool,' and That's Actually OK)

But in the Internet space, Facebook stock still isn't Wall Street analysts' favorite name. RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney, who has said "mobile monetization at Facebook can work," calls the stock just a "small buy."

He has a $32 price target on Facebook, but said Netflix,, Google, and even Priceline have more upside.

Ken Sena of Evercore Partners also believes Facebook looks expensive. "Facebook increasingly seems to be a media and communications platform," he said. "What most investors bought into was somewhat of a marketplace."

Sena prefers Google.

Microsoft 'Keeps Coming'

Although Microsoft's mobile platform hasn't gained much traction and its search business lags that of Google, some analysts think investors shouldn't write the stock off yet.

"Our 'buy' thesis has been predicated on the enterprise business, which is a very strong recurring business at Microsoft," UBS analyst Brent Thill told CNBC.

Ed Maguire, an analyst at CLSA, agrees.

"What I think investors are waking up to is the underlying value of enterprise business which has been outgrowing its peers and has a lot of momentum," he said in a separate interview. "It's this combination of software and services that's really powerful and leading their larger customers to commit to longer-term deals."

Microsoft isn't ignoring its consumer businesses either, Thill said.

"We believe they're addressing the downfalls of Windows 8 in an aggressive manner," the UBS analyst said. And with Microsoft anticipating that nearly half of PCs in the developed market will be touch enabled by the holidays, there could be renewed interest in Windows 8 toward the end of the year.

Microsoft also has a new XBox coming for the holiday season.

(Read More: The New Xbox: What to Expect From Microsoft's New Console)

Both Thill and Maguire see Microsoft shares reaching the low $30 range in the next 12 months. That implies more than 15 percent upside after a 25 percent run this year.

"They're not dead yet," CLSA's Maguire said of the software giant. "They keep coming and coming and coming again. And investors may underestimate that."

By CNBC's Justin Menza. Follow him on Twitter @JustinMenza.

Additional News: Facebook Makes Mobile Money, Though Earnings Miss by a Penny

Additional Views: Street Turns Bearish on Microsoft as PCs Decline


Within past 12 months UBS Securities has received compensation from Microsoft. CLSA received compensation for non-investment banking services from Microsoft within the past 12 months.