Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT)‘s stock had its “overweight” rating reaffirmed by research analysts at Barclays PLC in a research report issued on Monday. They presently have a $65.00 price objective on the software giant’s stock, up from their prior price objective of $58.85. Barclays PLC’s target price would suggest a potential upside of 10.41% from the company’s current price.

A number of other research analysts have also recently issued reports on MSFT. Nomura reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a report on Sunday, July 17th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “buy” rating and set a $57.00 price target on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research report on Sunday, July 17th. RBC Capital Markets set a $65.00 price target on shares of Microsoft Corp. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, October 21st. Vetr raised shares of Microsoft Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.17 price target on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, October 26th. Finally, Bank of America Corp. reissued a “buy” rating and set a $68.00 price target (up from $65.00) on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research report on Sunday, October 23rd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and twenty-three have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $61.98.

Analyst Recommendations for Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) opened at 58.87 on Monday. The firm has a market cap of $457.73 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.19 and a beta of 1.16. Microsoft Corp. has a 52 week low of $48.04 and a 52 week high of $61.37. The company has a 50-day moving average of $58.62 and a 200-day moving average of $55.27.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 20th. The software giant reported $0.76 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.68 by $0.08. The firm earned $22.30 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $21.71 billion. Microsoft Corp. had a net margin of 19.40% and a return on equity of 30.92%. The business’s revenue was up 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.67 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that Microsoft Corp. will post $2.97 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared 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. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 15th. This is a boost from Microsoft Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.65%. Microsoft Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 69.23%.

In related news, EVP Christopher C. Capossela sold 18,583 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.58, for a total transaction of $1,088,592.14. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 243,306 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,252,865.48. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director William H. Gates III sold 3,300,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.30, for a total value of $198,990,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 2.99% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in MSFT. Euclid Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 24.6% in the first quarter. Euclid Advisors LLC now owns 672,938 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $37,166,000 after buying an additional 132,695 shares during the period. First Manhattan Co. boosted its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 1.4% in the second quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 7,974,066 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $408,033,000 after buying an additional 108,933 shares during the period. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA boosted its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 8.2% in the second quarter. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA now owns 343,893 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $17,597,000 after buying an additional 26,037 shares during the period. Roffman Miller Associates Inc. PA boosted its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 5.8% in the second quarter. Roffman Miller Associates Inc. PA now owns 390,571 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $19,986,000 after buying an additional 21,496 shares during the period. Finally, First National Bank of Omaha boosted its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 2.0% in the second quarter. First National Bank of Omaha now owns 468,734 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $23,985,000 after buying an additional 9,313 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 71.81% of the company’s stock.

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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