Oppenheimer and Co are bullish on Windows 8

Oppenheimer & Co.’s Brad Reback yesterday stated an Outperform rating on shares of Microsoft (MSFT).

He gave a $32 price target after he met with the company’s CFO of its online business, Mindy Mount and investor relations rep Lisa Nelson.

Reback stated “The company should be able to sustain well north of $20B of FCF/year for the foreseeable future.”

Interesting to note though that the company’s online division is scaling back on marketing expenses which is critical as they have hemorrhaged money like crazy over the past few years.

He addressed this as well:

With MSFT confident it has closed the relevancy gap with Google on the search front, the company has sharpened its sights on improving its operational performance within the OSD division. On one side of the equation is the increased fiscal accountability that OSD CFO Mindy Mount has brought to the group (she had similar success as CFO of E&D when that division was losing billions of dollars annually). We have seen the early signs of this with the recently reduced operating losses (1Q12 operating losses of $494M were an 11% improvement year-over-year and a 32% improvement sequentially) from the division, and we expect this to continue for the foreseeable future.

He seems bullish on Windows 8 though.

….a healthy majority of the Windows division’s revenue comes from enterprise customers, which we view as extremely sticky […] Based on current reviews of the product [Windows 8], we expect it to be well received when it launches (we estimate middle of CY12) and should enable MSFT to eat into at least some of the iPad’s market share in the Tablet market.

The train has left the station and the game is Microsoft’s to lose at this point. The people are excited, the developers are excited and the analysts are excited.

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