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

Traders sold shares of Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) on strength during trading on Thursday following insider selling activity. $225.54 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $324.60 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $99.06 million out of the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Microsoft had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Microsoft traded up $0.23 for the day and closed at $67.71Specifically, insider G Mason Morfit sold 4,616,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.40, for a total value of $297,270,400.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Christopher C. Capossela sold 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.11, for a total value 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 disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 16,645,694 shares of company stock worth $1,127,019,616 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 2.99% of the company’s stock.

A number of analysts have recently commented on MSFT shares. Goldman Sachs Group Inc restated a “buy” rating and issued a $68.00 target price on shares of Microsoft in a research note on Friday, January 20th. Vetr downgraded Microsoft from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $65.19 target price on the stock. in a research note on Monday, January 23rd. Tigress Financial upgraded Microsoft from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, January 23rd. BGC Financial upped their target price on Microsoft to $65.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 25th. Finally, Macquarie set a $61.00 target price on Microsoft and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 25th. Two 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 issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Microsoft currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $69.44.

The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $67.24 and its 200 day moving average price is $63.94. The stock has a market capitalization of $522.60 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.87 and a beta of 1.08.

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

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 8th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, May 18th will be issued a $0.39 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, May 16th. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.30%. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio is currently 73.59%.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of Microsoft during the fourth quarter worth about $4,334,099,000. Dodge & Cox acquired a new position in shares of Microsoft during the fourth quarter worth about $2,658,504,000. FMR LLC boosted its position in shares of Microsoft by 11.0% in the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 177,344,854 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $11,020,210,000 after buying an additional 17,606,133 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Microsoft by 2.6% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 538,998,598 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $35,498,448,000 after buying an additional 13,602,891 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Asset Management One Co. Ltd. boosted its position in shares of Microsoft by 791.3% in the fourth quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. now owns 13,263,687 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $825,108,000 after buying an additional 11,775,547 shares in the last quarter. 72.29% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Microsoft

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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