Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) saw a significant growth in short interest during the month of September. As of September 30th, there was short interest totalling 47,634,474 shares, a growth of 7.8% from the September 15th total of 44,178,601 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 25,646,524 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 1.9 days. Approximately 0.6% of the shares of the company are sold short.
A number of research analysts have weighed in on the company. Vetr raised Microsoft Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $59.95 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday. Credit Agricole SA reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $60.00 target price on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a report on Wednesday, October 5th. Cowen and Company reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $60.00 target price on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a report on Friday, September 30th. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 target price on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a report on Wednesday, September 28th. Finally, Jefferies Group set a $40.00 target price on Microsoft Corp. and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 27th. Three research 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 stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $59.42.
In other Microsoft Corp. news, Director William H. Gates III sold 2,500,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.94, for a total value of $139,850,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider G Mason Morfit sold 18,000,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.12, for a total value of $1,010,160,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 3.76% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Euclid Advisors LLC raised its position in Microsoft Corp. by 24.6% in the first quarter. Euclid Advisors LLC now owns 672,938 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $37,166,000 after buying an additional 132,695 shares in the last quarter. First Manhattan Co. raised its position in Microsoft Corp. by 1.4% in the second quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 7,974,066 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $408,033,000 after buying an additional 108,933 shares in the last quarter. Roffman Miller Associates Inc. PA raised its position in Microsoft Corp. by 5.8% in the second quarter. Roffman Miller Associates Inc. PA now owns 390,571 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $19,986,000 after buying an additional 21,496 shares in the last quarter. Mckinley Capital Management LLC Delaware raised its position in Microsoft Corp. by 24.9% in the first quarter. Mckinley Capital Management LLC Delaware now owns 914,066 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $50,484,000 after buying an additional 182,140 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Trust Co. of Virginia VA raised its position in Microsoft Corp. by 2.6% in the second quarter. Trust Co. of Virginia VA now owns 219,968 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $11,256,000 after buying an additional 5,568 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 71.58% of the company’s stock.
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) opened at 57.11 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $445.03 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.20 and a beta of 1.09. Microsoft Corp. has a 52 week low of $46.53 and a 52 week high of $58.70. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $57.45 and its 200 day moving average price is $54.41.
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 19th. The software giant reported $0.69 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.11. The company earned $22.60 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $22.15 billion. Microsoft Corp. had a return on equity of 29.38% and a net margin of 19.33%. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.60 earnings per share. Equities research analysts expect that Microsoft Corp. will post $2.89 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 8th. Investors of record on Thursday, November 17th will be given a $0.39 dividend. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.73%. This is a positive change from Microsoft Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 15th. Microsoft Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 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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