For those looking to find strong Computer and Technology stocks, it is prudent to search for companies in the group that are outperforming their peers. Microsoft (MSFT) is a stock that can certainly grab the attention of many investors, but do its recent returns compare favorably to the sector as a whole? A quick glance at the company’s year-to-date performance in comparison to the rest of the Computer and Technology sector should help us answer this question.

Microsoft is a member of our Computer and Technology group, which includes 648 different companies and currently sits at #10 in the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank considers 16 different sector groups. The average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups is measured, and the sectors are listed from best to worst.

The Zacks Rank is a proven model that highlights a variety of stocks with the right characteristics to outperform the market over the next one to three months. The system emphasizes earnings estimate revisions and favors companies with improving earnings outlooks. MSFT is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for MSFT’s full-year earnings has moved 4.08% higher within the past quarter. This shows that analyst sentiment has improved and the company’s earnings outlook is stronger.

Based on the most recent data, MSFT has returned 29.98% so far this year. Meanwhile, stocks in the Computer and Technology group have gained about 20.02% on average. As we can see, Microsoft is performing better than its sector in the calendar year.

Looking more specifically, MSFT belongs to the Computer – Software industry, which includes 39 individual stocks and currently sits at #160 in the Zacks Industry Rank. On average, stocks in this group have gained 26.35% this year, meaning that MSFT is performing better in terms of year-to-date returns.

Investors in the Computer and Technology sector will want to keep a close eye on MSFT as it attempts to continue its solid performance.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.