Microsoft Corp.'s price target was raised at two brokerages as of Thursday morning but there were no major ratings upgrades as Wall Street analysts remained cautious regarding the company's ability to turn things around. The company announced plans on Wednesday to write-off its smartphone business and axe 7,800 jobs. Bank of America Merrill Lynch said it thinks resulting revenue declines will offset the expense savings. Jefferies said the write-off highlights a "string of flawed, failed, and expensive acquisitions," including Fast Search and aQuantive. Jefferies raised its target to $39 from $38 but maintained an underperform rating. It remains one of the most bearish brokerages on Microsoft. The average target among a poll of more than 25 analysts is $50.07, according to FactSet. Morgan Stanley was slightly more positive on the news, raising its 12-month target to $51 from $46, saying the move could have a potential fiscal-year 2016 earnings per share benefit of five to eight cents. Shares of Microsoft were up 1.2% to $44.76 in premarket trade, following broader market gains.
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