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Microsoft shares close lower on Wednesday, company to “significantly scale down” operations in Russia

Microsoft Corp (MSFT) said on Wednesday that it would significantly reduce its business in Russia, while becoming another major tech company to cut back operations or leave the country following Russia’s incursion into Ukraine.

“As a result of the changes to the economic outlook and the impact on our business in Russia, we have made the decision to significantly scale down our operations in Russia,” the tech giant said in an emailed statement.

“We will continue to fulfill our existing contractual obligations with Russian customers while the suspension of new sales remains in effect.”

A spokesperson for the company said that the move would affect more than 400 employees.

“We are working closely with impacted employees to ensure they are treated with respect and have our full support during this difficult time,” Microsoft said.

In March, Microsoft Corp suspended new sales of products and services in Russia, but continued to support existing clients and to maintain offices in the country.

Microsoft shares closed lower for the fourth time in the past ten trading sessions on NASDAQ on Wednesday. The stock went down 0.77% ($2.09) to $270.41, after touching an intraday low at $269.61 and an intraday high at $273.00 respectively.

The shares of Microsoft Corporation have retreated 19.60% so far in 2022 compared with a 13.65% loss for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).

In 2021, Microsoft Corp’s stock went up 51.21%, thus, it outperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 26.89% gain.

Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation

According to TipRanks, at least 24 out of 25 surveyed investment analysts had rated Microsoft Corp’s stock as “Buy”, while 1 – as “Hold”. The median price target on the stock stands at $356.30.

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