For those looking to find strong Computer and Technology stocks, it is prudent to search for companies in the group that are outperforming their peers. Microsoft (MSFT) is a stock that can certainly grab the attention of many investors, but do its recent returns compare favorably to the sector as a whole? A quick glance at the company's year-to-date performance in comparison to the rest of the Computer and Technology sector should help us answer this question.
Microsoft is a member of our Computer and Technology group, which includes 637 different companies and currently sits at #9 in the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank gauges the strength of our 16 individual sector groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups.
The Zacks Rank emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find stocks with improving earnings outlooks. This system has a long record of success, and these stocks tend to be on track to beat the market over the next one to three months. MSFT is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).
Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for MSFT's full-year earnings has moved 2.66% higher. This means that analyst sentiment is stronger and the stock's earnings outlook is improving.
According to our latest data, MSFT has moved about 35.14% on a year-to-date basis. At the same time, Computer and Technology stocks have gained an average of 18.80%. This means that Microsoft is outperforming the sector as a whole this year.
Breaking things down more, MSFT is a member of the Computer - Software industry, which includes 48 individual companies and currently sits at #69 in the Zacks Industry Rank. On average, this group has gained an average of 29.14% so far this year, meaning that MSFT is performing better in terms of year-to-date returns.
Going forward, investors interested in Computer and Technology stocks should continue to pay close attention to MSFT as it looks to continue its solid performance.
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