Microsoft Corp (MSFT) said last week that it would establish its first data center region in Italy, as it expects to invest $1.5 billion in the project.
Microsoft shares closed higher for a fifth consecutive trading session on NASDAQ on Friday. The stock went up 0.59% ($1.08) to $184.68, after touching an intraday high at $184.96, or a price level not seen since February 20th ($187.25).
Shares of Microsoft Corporation have risen 17.11% so far in 2020 compared with a 9.32% loss for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).
In 2019, Microsoft’s stock went up 55.26%, thus, it again outperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 28.88% gain.
The latest data center region is to be located in the Milan area and will add to the tech giant’s other 60 regions announced across the globe.
Microsoft’s rival Amazon Web Services has recently established a data center region in Milan.
In March, another competitor, Google, formed a partnership with Telecom Italia in an attempt to bolster its cloud business operations in the South European country.
In February, Microsoft revealed plans to create a new data center region in Spain and on May 5th it said it intended to open a data center in Poland to provide cloud services to businesses and government institutions.
According to analyst forecasts, Italy’s cloud market may expand at a double digit rate during the upcoming several years.
Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation
According to CNN Money, the 30 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding Microsoft Corp’s stock price, have a median target of $200.00, with a high estimate of $220.00 and a low estimate of $145.00. The median estimate represents an 8.30% upside compared to the closing price of $184.68 on May 8th.
The same media also reported that at least 28 out of 34 surveyed investment analysts had rated Microsoft Corp’s stock as “Buy”, while 4 – as “Hold”.