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When we chatted on Tuesday, I showed you how tech is the single best source for achieving true wealth.
It’s literally the only place where you can take a handful of stocks, maybe even just one big winner, and cash out with $1 million in the bank.
Specifically, I revealed how Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) precisely fit the bill. On its way to grabbing a $1.1 trillion market cap, the stock made savvy investors wealthy.
Just $25,000 worth of MSFT stock from early 1994 would be worth an amazing $1.2 million today.
But Microsoft’s run is far from over. During the last five years, the company has made a series of savvy moves that have put it on pace to become a $2 trillion stock.
Simply stated, Microsoft leaves no stone unturned in the search for new growth.
The Right Man for the Job
Now then, one of the reasons I really like our investment in Microsoft is that it gives us so many shots on goal.
Over the last five years, “Mr. Softy” has become a cutting-edge leader in merged reality, cannabis compliance software, and blockchain technology.
That’s why I like to remind investors that the 44-year-old firm has been able to deliver the kind of returns you usually only find with a young tech upstart.
Now, today I want to focus on one key growth field that serves as a symbol for why the firm has caught fire and promises to keep building wealth for investors for years to come.
But let’s start with recent history. Like many of you, I was already very familiar with Microsoft when the bull market began in early March 2009. It had played a vital role in the world’s legacy computing system based on PC sales.
What the stock needed to get back to its glory days was a fresh catalyst.
And that’s exactly what we got on February 4, 2014 when Satya Nadella became CEO. Shortly after he took the company’s reins, I wrote to you to tell you the firm was about to become a growth machine.
In no small measure that had to do with the fact that Nadella was targeting the high-octane cloud computing field that is on its way to becoming a $696 billion global juggernaut.
Competing for the Cloud
Nadella had run Microsoft’s Azure cloud program, but it hadn’t gotten much emphasis under previous leadership.
Today, that unit has a $40 billion run rate. Yes, growth here has slowed in the last few quarters. But that’s largely because doubling in size every quarter on a year-ago basis is bound to cool at some point.
In the firm’s 2019 Fiscal Fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, Azure sales climbed 59%, though the company did not release sales figures. It did report that sales of what it calls the “intelligent cloud” came in at $10.8 billon
As a result, Microsoft continues to challenge cloud leader Amazon Web Services in this high-margin business. Microsoft now ranks second as a web hosting platform, beating out both entrenched leaders Alphabet Inc. (GOOG) and International Business Machines Corp. (IBM)
Here’s just one example of why Microsoft could become the top cloud provider in the next five years:
It just nailed the Jedi cloud program with the Pentagon that could be worth more than $10 billion. As someone who has followed the Defense Department and its funding for many years now, I can tell you this is a very big deal.
Consider that defense giant Northrop Grumman Corp. (NOC) had military contracts for 2018 worth about $10.8 billion.
Yes, I know we’re comparing a yearly contract for NOC against a multi-year one for Mr. Softy. But I strongly believe the comparison gives you sense of what a score Microsoft – a civilian firm – made with our defense establishment.
And that speaks volume for the road ahead on the way to Microsoft becoming a $2 trillion company. The firm boasts some great fundamentals.
Free cash flow is just off the charts, coming it at $33 billion a year. The company has a 43% return on equity and operating margins of 35%.
Not only that, but per-share earnings growth has accelerated. In the most recent quarter, EPS grew 21%. That’s 23.5% better than the company’s three-year average.
But when it comes to making stock-price projections, I prefer to be a little conservative. So, I’m going to cut its current earnings growth back to just 15%.
Even at that rate, Microsoft should double in just under 5 years, making it a $2 trillion stock at that time.
Now you see why I keep saying the road to wealth is paved with tech.
Offering superior growth, it’s the only sector where you can reliably find that a handful of stocks, or maybe just one great one like Microsoft, can make you a millionaire.