Vetr lowered shares of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Thursday. The firm currently has $62.52 price objective on the software giant’s stock.

Several other research analysts have also recently weighed in on MSFT. Jefferies Group set a $40.00 price target on Microsoft Corp. and gave the company a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 27th. Argus reiterated a hold rating on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reiterated an outperform rating and set a $62.00 price target on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research report on Friday, July 22nd. Pacific Crest reiterated a buy rating and set a $65.00 price target on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research report on Tuesday, September 13th. Finally, Independent Research GmbH set a $50.00 price target on Microsoft Corp. and gave the company a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, July 21st. Three research 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 company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $62.24.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) opened at 61.07 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $474.84 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.25 and a beta of 1.16. Microsoft Corp. has a 1-year low of $48.03 and a 1-year high of $61.37. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $58.74 and a 200 day moving average price of $55.34.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 20th. The software giant reported $0.76 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.08. Microsoft Corp. had a return on equity of 30.92% and a net margin of 19.40%. The firm earned $22.30 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $21.71 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.67 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that Microsoft Corp. will post $2.97 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 8th. Investors of record on Thursday, November 17th will be given a $0.39 dividend. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.57%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 15th. This is a positive change from Microsoft Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. Microsoft Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is 75.00%.

In related news, Director William H. Gates III sold 2,700,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.99, for a total value of $164,673,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Christopher C. Capossela sold 18,583 shares of the 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 of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $14,252,865.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.99% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD raised its stake in Microsoft Corp. by 0.3% in the third quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 178,592,140 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $10,286,907,000 after buying an additional 517,111 shares during the last quarter. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC purchased a new stake in Microsoft Corp. during the third quarter valued at $2,142,000. Garde Capital Inc. raised its stake in Microsoft Corp. by 35.4% in the third quarter. Garde Capital Inc. now owns 70,687 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $3,129,000 after buying an additional 18,465 shares during the last quarter. Altfest L J & Co. Inc. raised its stake in Microsoft Corp. by 0.3% in the third quarter. Altfest L J & Co. Inc. now owns 63,417 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $3,653,000 after buying an additional 189 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Lenox Wealth Management Inc. raised its stake in Microsoft Corp. by 15.3% in the third quarter. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. now owns 5,590 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $322,000 after buying an additional 743 shares during the last quarter. 71.81% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other 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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