Shares of Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) have been assigned a consensus recommendation of “Buy” from the thirty-two research firms that are presently covering the company, Marketbeat.com reports. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating, twenty-eight have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The average 1-year target price among brokers that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $150.15.
Several analysts have issued reports on MSFT shares. Credit Suisse Group set a $155.00 price objective on Microsoft and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 4th. Jefferies Financial Group set a $93.00 price objective on Microsoft and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, July 19th. CIBC boosted their price objective on Microsoft from $145.00 to $160.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, July 19th. Raymond James boosted their price objective on Microsoft from $160.00 to $163.00 and gave the stock a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 19th. Finally, DZ Bank restated a “buy” rating on shares of Microsoft in a report on Friday, July 19th.
In other Microsoft news, insider Frank H. Brod sold 4,000 shares of Microsoft stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $141.05, for a total transaction of $564,200.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 64,152 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,048,639.60. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Satya Nadella sold 99,837 shares of Microsoft stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $137.20, for a total value of $13,697,636.40. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,124,339 shares in the company, valued at approximately $154,259,310.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 318,757 shares of company stock worth $43,735,918. Company insiders own 1.38% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Microsoft by 1.3% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 613,005,516 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $82,118,218,000 after buying an additional 7,724,483 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp grew its stake in shares of Microsoft by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 96,567,563 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $12,936,190,000 after buying an additional 385,074 shares in the last quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Microsoft by 2,651.8% in the 2nd quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 67,353,275 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $9,022,645,000 after buying an additional 64,905,685 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its stake in shares of Microsoft by 0.7% in the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 52,986,086 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $7,097,675,000 after buying an additional 342,648 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of Microsoft by 2.3% in the 2nd quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 34,368,268 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $4,603,974,000 after buying an additional 782,124 shares in the last quarter. 72.16% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Microsoft stock traded down $1.82 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $139.25. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 19,263,344 shares, compared to its average volume of 21,275,420. The company has a quick ratio of 2.50, a current ratio of 2.53 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.71. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $136.80 and its 200-day moving average price is $129.41. Microsoft has a 12 month low of $93.96 and a 12 month high of $141.68. The company has a market capitalization of $1,049.03 billion, a PE ratio of 29.31, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.39 and a beta of 1.22.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 18th. The software giant reported $1.37 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.21 by $0.16. The firm had revenue of $33.72 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.80 billion. Microsoft had a net margin of 31.18% and a return on equity of 39.26%. Microsoft’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.13 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that Microsoft will post 5.23 EPS for the current year.
Microsoft declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, September 18th that allows the company to buyback $40.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the software giant to reacquire up to 3.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 12th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 21st will be paid a dividend of $0.51 per share. This represents a $2.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.47%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 20th. This is a boost from Microsoft’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.46. Microsoft’s payout ratio is 38.74%.
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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