Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest during the month of September. As of September 30th, there was short interest totalling 47,634,474 shares, a growth of 7.8% from the September 15th total of 44,178,601 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 25,646,524 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 1.9 days. Approximately 0.6% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) opened at 57.11 on Thursday. The stock has a market cap of $445.03 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.20 and a beta of 1.09. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $57.45 and its 200-day moving average price is $54.41. Microsoft Corp. has a 12-month low of $46.53 and a 12-month high of $58.70.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 19th. The software giant reported $0.69 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.11. Microsoft Corp. had a return on equity of 29.38% and a net margin of 19.33%. The company had revenue of $22.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $22.15 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.60 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Microsoft Corp. will post $2.89 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 8th. Investors of record on Thursday, November 17th will be given a dividend of $0.39 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 15th. This is a boost from Microsoft Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.73%. Microsoft Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 70.24%.

A number of research analysts have recently commented on the stock. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 target price on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a report on Wednesday, September 28th. Vetr lowered shares of Microsoft Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $59.96 price objective for the company. in a report on Wednesday, September 21st. Cowen and Company reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $60.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a report on Friday, September 30th. Macquarie reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $54.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a report on Friday, September 23rd. Finally, Credit Agricole SA reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $60.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a report on Wednesday, October 5th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and twenty have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $59.42.

In other news, CFO Amy Hood sold 120,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.86, for a total value of $6,943,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 523,425 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $30,285,370.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Satya Nadella sold 143,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated 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 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. 3.76% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Hollencrest Securities LLC boosted its stake in Microsoft Corp. by 81.2% in the third quarter. Hollencrest Securities LLC now owns 103,201 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $5,945,000 after buying an additional 46,246 shares during the period. Prospera Financial Services Inc boosted its stake in Microsoft Corp. by 3.2% in the third quarter. Prospera Financial Services Inc now owns 31,440 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $1,811,000 after buying an additional 970 shares during the period. Morgens Waterfall Vintiadis & Co. Inc. acquired a new stake in Microsoft Corp. during the third quarter valued at approximately $2,880,000. Patten & Patten Inc. TN boosted its stake in Microsoft Corp. by 3.5% in the third quarter. Patten & Patten Inc. TN now owns 182,304 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $10,501,000 after buying an additional 6,213 shares during the period. Finally, Capstone Asset Management Co. boosted its stake in Microsoft Corp. by 1.4% in the third quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 1,066,834 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $61,450,000 after buying an additional 14,904 shares during the period. 71.58% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Microsoft Corp. Company Profile

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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