Shares of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) have earned an average recommendation of “Buy” from the thirty-three research firms that are currently covering the stock. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and twenty have given a buy rating to the company. The average twelve-month price target among analysts that have covered the stock in the last year is $58.78.
MSFT has been the subject of several analyst reports. Cowen and Company reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $60.00 target price on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research note on Friday, September 30th. Credit Agricole SA reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $60.00 target price on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research note on Wednesday, October 5th. Vetr raised shares of Microsoft Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $59.88 target price for the company in a research note on Thursday, September 8th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. set a $55.00 target price on shares of Microsoft Corp. and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 29th. Finally, Jefferies Group set a $40.00 target price on shares of Microsoft Corp. and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 27th.
In other news, Director William H. Gates III sold 2,500,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.94, for a total transaction of $139,850,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Amy Hood sold 120,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.86, for a total value of $6,943,200.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 523,425 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $30,285,370.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 3.76% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Invictus RG purchased a new position in Microsoft Corp. during the first quarter valued at $107,000. Riggs Asset Managment Co. Inc. increased its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 6.6% in the second quarter. Riggs Asset Managment Co. Inc. now owns 2,375 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 147 shares in the last quarter. Roble Belko & Company Inc increased its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 9.0% in the second quarter. Roble Belko & Company Inc now owns 2,535 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $130,000 after buying an additional 210 shares in the last quarter. Lowe fs LLC increased its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 1.4% in the second quarter. Lowe fs LLC now owns 3,206 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $164,000 after buying an additional 44 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Northstar Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 0.4% in the second quarter. Northstar Group Inc. now owns 3,953 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $202,000 after buying an additional 14 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 71.58% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) traded down 0.23% during trading on Wednesday, hitting $57.06. 11,955,220 shares of the stock were exchanged. Microsoft Corp. has a 1-year low of $46.53 and a 1-year high of $58.70. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $57.48 and its 200 day moving average is $54.39. The company has a market cap of $444.64 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.17 and a beta of 1.09.
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, July 19th. The software giant reported $0.69 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.11. Microsoft Corp. had a net margin of 19.33% and a return on equity of 29.38%. The business earned $22.60 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $22.15 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.60 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that Microsoft Corp. will post $2.89 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 8th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 17th will be given a dividend of $0.39 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 15th. This is a positive change from Microsoft Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.73%. Microsoft Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 70.24%.
About Microsoft Corp.
Microsoft Corporation is a technology company. The Company develops, licenses and supports a range of software products, services and devices. Its segments are Productivity and Business Processes, Intelligent Cloud, and More Personal Computing. Its products include operating systems; cross-device productivity applications; server applications; business solution applications; desktop and server management tools; software development tools; video games, and training and certification of computer system integrators and developers.
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