Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) was the target of a significant increase in short interest in October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 50,742,449 shares, an increase of 14.7% from the October 14th total of 44,258,562 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 36,633,162 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.4 days. Currently, 0.7% of the company’s shares are short sold.

Several equities research analysts have recently commented on MSFT shares. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a report on Wednesday, September 28th. Vetr upgraded Microsoft Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $59.66 price target for the company in a report on Monday, September 26th. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $69.00 price target on Microsoft Corp. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 21st. Pacific Crest reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 price target on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a report on Tuesday, September 13th. Finally, Nomura reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 price target on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a report on Thursday, July 28th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and twenty-three have issued a buy rating to the stock. Microsoft Corp. has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $62.24.

Shares of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) opened at 60.64 on Friday. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $58.74 and a 200 day moving average price of $55.34. Microsoft Corp. has a one year low of $48.03 and a one year high of $61.37. The company has a market cap of $471.50 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.04 and a beta of 1.16.

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

The firm also recently disclosed 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 annualized dividend and a dividend 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 currently 69.23%.

In other news, Director William H. Gates III sold 2,700,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.99, for a total transaction of $164,673,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Frank H. Brod sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.53, for a total value of $302,650.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 121,508 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,354,879.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.99% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD raised its stake in shares of 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 in the last quarter. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Microsoft Corp. during the third quarter valued at approximately $2,142,000. Garde Capital Inc. raised its stake in shares of 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 in the last quarter. Altfest L J & Co. Inc. raised its stake in shares of 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 in the last quarter. Finally, Lenox Wealth Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of 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 in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 71.81% of the company’s stock.

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

Receive News & Stock Ratings for Microsoft Corp. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Microsoft Corp. and related stocks with our FREE daily email newsletter.