Microsoft Corp. shares rose 1.3% to $48.64 Thursday, as Nomura Equity Research analyst Rick Sherlund raised his price target on the software giant to $56 a share from $50. Sherlund said Microsoft's gains in cloud-based services, the likelihood of the company's board returning more cash to shareholders and the outlook for gains in its flagship Office software suite among the reasons for his new view on Microsoft's stock price. "We think the company has passed the worst in the transition, and growth will be improving going forward for Office," Sherlund said.
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