Microsoft, one of the largest tech stocks in the world by market cap, has come under pressure as the growth-to-value rotation rolls on.
Shares have retreated roughly 7% from an April peak, falling another 1% last week even as the XLK technology ETF recouped losses to close flat.
Danielle Shay, director of options at Simpler Trading, sees opportunity in recent weakness.
“I love Microsoft. It’s one of my favorite long-term growth stocks. It’s just so consistent. They have so many different product segments that are continuing to grow. Earnings are consistent quarter over quarter year over year,” Shay told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Friday.
Microsoft recently posted a major earnings beat in its March-ended quarter, while recording its largest revenue growth since 2018. Its Azure public cloud segment, a fast-growing area for the company, saw sales rise by 50%.
“I think this is a fantastic pullback buy. It bounced gorgeously at the [100-day moving average], and I’m targeting $270 in the near term,” Shay added.
Microsoft closed Friday at $245.17 a share. A move to $270 implies 10% upside.
Shay isn’t the only one backing Microsoft. The stock has an average buy rating on Wall Street. Craig Johnson, chief market technician at Piper Sandler, also counts himself as optimistic.
“This is a bullish chart,” Johnson said in the same interview. “We just pulled back right toward the lower end of this upward trending price channel and it looks like one that should be bought.”
While Microsoft has lagged this year, it was one of the best performers in 2020. The stock closed out the year up 42%, outpacing the S&P 500‘s 16% gain. Credit for outperformance in recent years should also go to CEO Satya Nadella, Johnson added.
“If you look at Satya Nadella, his track record here, it’s been absolutely amazing. Over 565% over the last seven years. It’s outpaced Apple, and it’s certainly a better track record than [former Microsoft CEO] Steve Ballmer where he really underperformed the Nasdaq, so hats off to Satya Nadella for a great job.”
Nadella was announced as new CEO of Microsoft in early 2014.
Disclosure: Shay holds MSFT.