Advisors Asset Management Inc. raised its position in Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 1.2% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 1,068,644 shares of the software giant’s stock after acquiring an additional 12,424 shares during the quarter. Microsoft makes up about 4.0% of Advisors Asset Management Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its largest holding. Advisors Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in Microsoft were worth $168,536,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in MSFT. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of Microsoft during the 4th quarter worth approximately $12,315,435,000. Private Advisor Group LLC boosted its position in Microsoft by 100.9% during the fourth quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC now owns 442,643 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $69,805,000 after purchasing an additional 47,658,854 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Microsoft by 5.4% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 113,401,519 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $17,849,067,000 after purchasing an additional 5,771,223 shares during the period. Swiss National Bank increased its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 22.9% in the first quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 28,404,917 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $4,479,739,000 after purchasing an additional 5,287,700 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Microsoft by 21.3% in the fourth quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 21,889,017 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $3,451,565,000 after purchasing an additional 3,836,507 shares during the period. 70.71% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
A number of research analysts recently commented on MSFT shares. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $190.00 price target on shares of Microsoft and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 14th. BidaskClub raised Microsoft from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 23rd. Barclays increased their target price on Microsoft from $190.00 to $204.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 30th. Summit Insights assumed coverage on Microsoft in a research note on Wednesday, May 27th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $220.00 price target for the company. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada upped their price objective on Microsoft from $196.00 to $200.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, May 18th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirty-seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $196.63.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 29th. The software giant reported $1.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.27 by $0.13. Microsoft had a net margin of 33.36% and a return on equity of 40.37%. The company had revenue of $35.02 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $33.70 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.14 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 14.6% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts expect that Microsoft Co. will post 5.71 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 10th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 20th will be given a $0.51 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 19th. This represents a $2.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.03%. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio is presently 42.95%.
In related news, EVP Margaret L. Johnson sold 35,000 shares of Microsoft stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $176.08, for a total transaction of $6,162,800.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 50,023 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,808,049.84. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CAO Frank H. Brod sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $176.94, for a total transaction of $530,820.00. Following the sale, the chief accounting officer now directly owns 57,136 shares in the company, valued at $10,109,643.84. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 38,049 shares of company stock valued at $6,702,736 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 1.39% of the company’s stock.
Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports software, services, devices, and solutions worldwide. Its company's Productivity and Business Processes segment offers Office 365 commercial products and services, such as Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, and related Client Access Licenses (CALs); Office 365 consumer services, including Skype, Outlook.com, and OneDrive; LinkedIn online professional network; and Dynamics business solutions comprising financial management, enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, supply chain management, and analytics applications for small and medium businesses, large organizations, and divisions of enterprises.
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