Microsoft shares were raise to Buy from Neutral, as shares rose about 6 percent to $18.37 in the afternoon trading

Davenport & Co. analyst F. Drake Johnstone said the demand, particularly in PC sales in the U.S., China and other countries are improving, citing that Windows 7 could increase more demand for PCs.

According to NPD reports, PC unit sales were up 15% in February. In Japan’s PC unit sales were up 13% ended last week and Taiwan-based IT distributor Synnex expects its May quarter revenues to increase significantly due to China’s stimulus measures.

Last month, Microsoft Corp reported a 2 percent increase in revenue to $16.63 billion for the second quarter Dec. 31, 2008 due to Windows 7 launching and other new product.

The company also boosted its projected earnings per share increase to $1.75 from $1.70 in 2009, and $1.91 increase from $1.80 for the next two years.