Sunbelt Securities Inc. lessened its holdings in shares of Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 55.8% in the 1st quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The fund owned 37,171 shares of the software giant’s stock after selling 46,985 shares during the period. Sunbelt Securities Inc.’s holdings in Microsoft were worth $5,922,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in MSFT. Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of Microsoft in the 4th quarter worth approximately $12,315,435,000. Private Advisor Group LLC raised its stake in shares of Microsoft by 100.9% in the fourth quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC now owns 442,643 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $69,805,000 after purchasing an additional 47,658,854 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its position in Microsoft by 5.4% in 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 boosted its stake in Microsoft by 22.9% during the first quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 28,404,917 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $4,479,739,000 after buying an additional 5,287,700 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. increased its holdings in Microsoft by 21.3% in the 4th 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 buying an additional 3,836,507 shares during the period. 70.71% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on MSFT shares. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $195.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft in a research note on Monday, June 1st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Microsoft from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $195.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, May 20th. Fundamental Research restated a “buy” rating and issued a $212.58 target price on shares of Microsoft in a research note on Thursday, June 18th. Jefferies Financial Group upped their target price on shares of Microsoft from $175.00 to $200.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, April 27th. Finally, Mizuho reissued a “buy” rating and set a $205.00 price target on shares of Microsoft in a report on Wednesday, May 20th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirty-seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Microsoft currently has a consensus 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 for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates 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 for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $33.70 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.14 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 14.6% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts predict that Microsoft Co. will post 5.71 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 10th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 20th will be paid a $0.51 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 19th. This represents a $2.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.00%. Microsoft’s payout ratio is 42.95%.
In other news, EVP Margaret L. Johnson sold 35,000 shares of the stock in a transaction 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 completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 50,023 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,808,049.84. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CAO Frank H. Brod sold 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction 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 owns 57,136 shares in the company, valued at $10,109,643.84. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 38,049 shares of company stock valued at $6,702,736. Insiders own 1.39% of the company’s stock.
Microsoft Company Profile
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.
Read More: Limitations of analyzing profit margin
Want to see what other hedge funds are holding MSFT? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT).
Receive News & Ratings for Microsoft Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Microsoft and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.