Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Reaches New 12-Month High After Analyst Upgrade

Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Thursday after Cowen raised their price target on the stock from $295.00 to $310.00. Cowen currently has an outperform rating on the stock. Microsoft traded as high as $286.05 and last traded at $285.21, with a volume of 258078 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $281.40.

Other analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Exane BNP Paribas began coverage on Microsoft in a research note on Thursday, April 22nd. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $330.00 target price on the stock. Rosenblatt Securities increased their target price on Microsoft from $301.00 to $333.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Fundamental Research increased their target price on Microsoft from $236.60 to $256.70 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 15th. KGI Securities started coverage on Microsoft in a research note on Tuesday, June 1st. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $300.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Bank of America raised their price target on Microsoft from $280.00 to $300.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 21st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, thirty have given a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $299.99.

In other news, CMO Christopher C. Capossela sold 6,086 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $252.66, for a total value of $1,537,688.76. Following the completion of the sale, the chief marketing officer now directly owns 92,119 shares in the company, valued at $23,274,786.54. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CMO Christopher C. Capossela sold 1,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $240.00, for a total value of $360,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief marketing officer now owns 87,703 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $21,048,720. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 15,586 shares of company stock valued at $3,899,849. 0.05% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD increased its position in shares of Microsoft by 0.7% during the first quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 178,824,616 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $42,161,479,000 after purchasing an additional 1,324,459 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Microsoft by 2.1% during the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 120,231,394 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $28,271,347,000 after buying an additional 2,433,232 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in Microsoft by 2.0% during the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 84,365,516 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $19,890,858,000 after buying an additional 1,652,275 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new position in Microsoft during the fourth quarter worth $17,697,996,000. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted its stake in Microsoft by 14.7% during the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 69,099,798 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $15,369,178,000 after buying an additional 8,865,366 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 69.27% of the company’s stock.

The business has a 50 day simple moving average of $261.91. The company has a market capitalization of $2.15 trillion, a P/E ratio of 38.34, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.59 and a beta of 0.79. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37, a quick ratio of 2.26 and a current ratio of 2.29.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 27th. The software giant reported $1.95 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.76 by $0.19. Microsoft had a return on equity of 43.75% and a net margin of 35.02%. The company had revenue of $41.71 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $40.83 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.40 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 19.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that Microsoft Co. will post 7.71 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 9th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 19th will be paid a $0.56 dividend. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.79%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 18th. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 38.89%.

Microsoft Company Profile (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports software, services, devices, and solutions worldwide. Its Productivity and Business Processes segment offers Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, Office 365 Security and Compliance, and Skype for Business, as well as related Client Access Licenses (CAL); Skype, Outlook.com, OneDrive, and LinkedIn; and Dynamics 365, a set of cloud-based and on-premises business solutions for small and medium businesses, organizations, and enterprise divisions.

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