Investors Sell Shares of Microsoft Co. (MSFT) on Strength After Insider Selling

Investors sold shares of Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) on strength during trading hours on Thursday after an insider sold shares in the company. $174.74 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $258.83 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $84.09 million out of the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Microsoft had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Microsoft traded up $0.85 for the day and closed at $69.62Specifically, EVP Christopher C. Capossela sold 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $69.11, for a total transaction of $207,330.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 216,507 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,962,798.77. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director William H. Gates III sold 2,500,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.40, for a total transaction of $173,500,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 12,060,786 shares of company stock valued at $831,893,332 in the last 90 days. Insiders own 2.99% of the company’s stock.

MSFT has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Pacific Crest restated a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 price target (up previously from $70.00) on shares of Microsoft in a report on Friday, April 28th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc restated a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 price target (up previously from $68.00) on shares of Microsoft in a report on Friday, January 27th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. restated a “strong-buy” rating on shares of Microsoft in a report on Friday, March 17th. Vetr downgraded shares of Microsoft from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $71.27 price target for the company. in a report on Tuesday. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada raised their price target on shares of Microsoft from $65.00 to $71.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, January 27th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating, twenty-five have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Microsoft has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $69.45.

The firm has a 50-day moving average of $67.68 and a 200 day moving average of $64.26. The company has a market cap of $540.13 billion, a P/E ratio of 30.87 and a beta of 1.08.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The software giant reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.04. Microsoft had a return on equity of 32.12% and a net margin of 19.57%. The business had revenue of $23.56 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $23.62 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.62 earnings per share. Microsoft’s revenue was up 6.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that Microsoft Co. will post $3.03 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 8th. Investors of record on Thursday, May 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.39 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, May 16th. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.23%. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 73.59%.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. James Investment Research Inc. increased its stake in shares of Microsoft by 29.5% in the first quarter. James Investment Research Inc. now owns 1,702 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $112,000 after buying an additional 388 shares during the period. Asset Planning Services Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Microsoft by 93.0% in the first quarter. Asset Planning Services Ltd. now owns 1,737 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 837 shares during the period. Ullmann Financial Group Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Microsoft during the first quarter valued at about $132,000. Kernodle & Katon Asset Management Group LLC increased its stake in shares of Microsoft by 0.5% in the first quarter. Kernodle & Katon Asset Management Group LLC now owns 2,067 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $136,000 after buying an additional 11 shares during the period. Finally, Pacific Center for Financial Services bought a new stake in shares of Microsoft during the fourth quarter valued at about $155,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.29% of the company’s stock.

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Microsoft Company Profile

Microsoft Corporation is a technology company. The Company develops, licenses, and supports a range of software products, services and devices. The Company’s segments include Productivity and Business Processes, Intelligent Cloud and More Personal Computing. The Company’s 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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