After years of languishing, shares of software giant Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) are riding high once again after essentially matching the Nasdaq's overall rise in 2013.
Microsoft is set to unveil its final quarterly earnings report of the 2013 calendar year after the bell today. What should investors be on the lookout for?
Although things have certainly improved in the wake of CEO Steve Ballmer's corporate reorganization last year, Microsoft still has a long way to go in order to compete on the next great computing platform: mobile.
Analyst's expectations in some ways reflect this notion. On average, analysts are calling for shrinking profits to be a sad reality of Microsoft's earnings.
However, Microsoft faces other key issues it must navigate in order to tap into its massive potential. The real key in all this is Microsoft's ongoing hunt to find a replacement for Steve Ballmer. Rumors have spread like wildfire regarding Microsoft's heir apparent. But with the eventual successor being the one that will craft Microsoft's future strategic pushes, the company remains in a limbo of sorts.
In the video below, tech and telecom analyst Andrew Tonner looks at some of the key numbers and storylines that investors should have on their radar when Microsoft reports later today.
A better bet than Microsoft in the year ahead
There's a huge difference between a good stock and a stock that can make you rich. The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it's one of those stocks that could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in the special free report "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.