Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) Given “Outperform” Rating at Cowen and Company
Cowen and Company reissued their outperform rating on shares of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) in a report published on Friday. They currently have a $60.00 price objective on the software giant’s stock.
Several other analysts also recently commented on MSFT. Nomura reissued a buy rating on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research note on Wednesday, June 8th. Bank of America Corp. reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research report on Friday, June 10th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reaffirmed a neutral rating and set a $56.00 price target on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research report on Monday, June 13th. Evercore ISI reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research report on Monday, June 13th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein reaffirmed an outperform rating and set a $68.00 price target on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research report on Monday, June 13th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and twenty have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $59.41.
Shares of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) opened at 57.60 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $448.85 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.43 and a beta of 1.09. Microsoft Corp. has a 1-year low of $45.70 and a 1-year high of $58.70. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $57.50 and a 200 day moving average price of $54.21.
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 19th. The software giant reported $0.69 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.11. The firm earned $22.60 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $22.15 billion. Microsoft Corp. had a return on equity of 29.38% and a net margin of 19.33%. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.60 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Microsoft Corp. will post $2.89 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 8th. Investors of record on Thursday, November 17th will be paid a dividend of $0.39 per share. This is an increase from Microsoft Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.71%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 15th. Microsoft Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 70.24%.
In related news, Director William H. Gates III sold 2,500,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.94, for a total transaction of $139,850,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Satya Nadella sold 143,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.97, for a total transaction of $8,289,710.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,200,822 shares in the company, valued at $69,611,651.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 3.76% of the company’s stock.
A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in MSFT. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. purchased a new stake in shares of Microsoft Corp. during the second quarter worth approximately $699,840,000. Janus Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 40.2% in the second quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 41,604,434 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $2,128,899,000 after buying an additional 11,937,675 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 1.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 504,208,409 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $25,800,344,000 after buying an additional 8,371,988 shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. increased its stake in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 7.8% in the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 93,704,245 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $4,794,838,000 after buying an additional 6,760,471 shares in the last quarter. Finally, NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. purchased a new stake in shares of Microsoft Corp. during the first quarter worth approximately $370,367,000. 71.58% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
About Microsoft Corp.
Microsoft Corporation is a technology company. The Company develops, licenses and supports a range of software products, services and devices. Its segments are Productivity and Business Processes, Intelligent Cloud, and More Personal Computing. Its 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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