Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) was upgraded by equities research analysts at Vetr from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday. The brokerage presently has a $59.95 target price on the software giant’s stock. Vetr‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 4.83% from the stock’s previous close.

Several other research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $68.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft Corp. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 15th. Citigroup Inc. upped their target price on shares of Microsoft Corp. from $36.00 to $37.00 and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 7th. Stifel Nicolaus upped their target price on shares of Microsoft Corp. from $58.00 to $60.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 20th. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 target price on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research note on Saturday, June 25th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $55.00 target price on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research note on Monday, July 18th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and twenty have issued a buy rating to the stock. Microsoft Corp. has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $59.42.

Analyst Recommendations for Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) traded down 1.46% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $57.19. 26,497,418 shares of the stock were exchanged. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $57.48 and its 200 day moving average is $54.39. Microsoft Corp. has a 52 week low of $46.53 and a 52 week high of $58.70. The company has a market capitalization of $445.65 billion, a PE ratio of 27.23 and a beta of 1.09.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 19th. The software giant reported $0.69 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.11. Microsoft Corp. had a net margin of 19.33% and a return on equity of 29.38%. The firm had revenue of $22.60 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $22.15 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.60 earnings per share. On average, 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. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 17th will be issued a dividend of $0.39 per share. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.73%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 15th. This is a boost from Microsoft Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. Microsoft Corp.’s payout ratio is 70.24%.

In other news, Director William H. Gates III sold 2,500,000 shares of Microsoft Corp. stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.94, for a total value of $139,850,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CEO Satya Nadella sold 143,000 shares of Microsoft Corp. stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.97, for a total value of $8,289,710.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,200,822 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $69,611,651.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 3.76% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of MSFT. Invictus RG bought a new position in Microsoft Corp. during the first quarter valued at about $107,000. Riggs Asset Managment Co. Inc. raised its position in Microsoft Corp. by 6.6% in the second quarter. Riggs Asset Managment Co. Inc. now owns 2,375 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 147 shares in the last quarter. Roble Belko & Company Inc raised its position in Microsoft Corp. by 9.0% in the second quarter. Roble Belko & Company Inc now owns 2,535 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $130,000 after buying an additional 210 shares in the last quarter. Lowe fs LLC raised its position in Microsoft Corp. by 1.4% in the second quarter. Lowe fs LLC now owns 3,206 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $164,000 after buying an additional 44 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Northstar Group Inc. raised its position in Microsoft Corp. by 0.4% in the second quarter. Northstar Group Inc. now owns 3,953 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $202,000 after buying an additional 14 shares in the last quarter. 71.58% of the stock is 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.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:MSFT

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