The company now has 31 buy ratings from analysts, up from 26 at the start of this year and the most since late 2010.

Share story

Microsoft stock is trading at a record high as it prepares to release its latest quarterly results Thursday. And Wall Street keeps sounding a bullish call for the world’s largest software maker.

The company now has 31 buy ratings, up from 26 at the start of this year and the most since late 2010. While analysts’ earnings-per-share estimates are little changed since May — now at an average $1.08 — their average price target for the stock has climbed. They predict the shares will increase 7.5 percent over the next 12 months, compared with a 5.5 percent average gain seen among the 36 stocks in the S&P Supercomposite Software Industry Index.

Microsoft, once known for its dominance in desktop computer operating systems, has climbed more than 20 percent this year as investors grow increasingly confident in its push toward cloud computing.

Just this week, Raymond James Financial analyst Michael Turits, who has a strong buy recommendation on Microsoft’s shares, increased his target price by 13 percent to $124. He said in a research note that the company’s success in pushing its products through partners and positioning itself as a cloud leader present upsides for long-term growth forecasts and pointed out that PC shipments are up for the first time in six years.

Most Read Business Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

Microsoft stock closed Tuesday up 1 percent at $105.95

— Stefanie Marotta and Gregory Calderone, Bloomberg News