Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) has received a consensus rating of “Buy” from the thirty-six research firms that are currently covering the firm. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating, twenty-three have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The average twelve-month price objective among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $67.22.
MSFT has been the topic of several recent research reports. Wells Fargo & Co initiated coverage on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Wednesday, January 11th. They issued an “outperform” rating on the stock. Goldman Sachs Group Inc restated a “buy” rating and issued a $72.00 price objective (up previously from $68.00) on shares of Microsoft in a research note on Friday, January 27th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. restated a “strong-buy” rating on shares of Microsoft in a research note on Friday, March 17th. Royal Bank of Canada raised their price objective on shares of Microsoft from $65.00 to $71.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, January 27th. Finally, Cowen and Company restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $70.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft in a research note on Thursday, March 16th.
Shares of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) traded up 1.37% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $66.40. 32,515,217 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $65.06 and a 200-day moving average of $62.42. Microsoft has a 1-year low of $48.03 and a 1-year high of $66.70. The company has a market capitalization of $513.11 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.25 and a beta of 1.08.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 26th. The software giant reported $0.83 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.79 by $0.04. The business earned $26.07 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $25.13 billion. Microsoft had a net margin of 19.57% and a return on equity of 32.12%. The firm’s revenue was up 1.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.78 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Microsoft will post $2.97 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 8th. Investors of record on Thursday, May 18th will be given a $0.39 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, May 16th. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.35%. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio is presently 73.59%.
In other news, insider G Mason Morfit sold 4,616,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.40, for a total transaction of $297,270,400.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Frank H. Brod sold 7,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, January 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.35, for a total value of $490,125.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 114,008 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,450,422.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 19,623,500 shares of company stock valued at $1,253,600,525. Insiders own 2.99% of the company’s stock.
A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Microsoft during the fourth quarter worth $4,334,099,000. Dodge & Cox acquired a new stake in Microsoft during the fourth quarter worth $2,658,504,000. FMR LLC boosted its stake in 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 during the period. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. boosted its stake in 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 during the period. Finally, Russell Investments Group Ltd. acquired a new stake in Microsoft during the fourth quarter worth $686,993,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.29% of the company’s stock.
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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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