Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been given an average rating of “Buy” by the thirty-five analysts that are presently covering the company. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, nine have given a hold recommendation and twenty-three have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 12-month price objective among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $62.13.

Several equities research analysts have weighed in on MSFT shares. Barclays PLC restated an “overweight” rating and set a $65.00 target price (up from $60.00) on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research note on Friday, October 21st. Vetr upgraded Microsoft Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.17 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, October 26th. Cowen and Company restated an “outperform” rating and set a $60.00 target price on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research note on Friday, September 30th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $55.00 target price on Microsoft Corp. and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 20th. Finally, Wunderlich upgraded Microsoft Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $60.00 to $70.00 in a research note on Friday, October 21st.

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

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MSFT. Northstar Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 0.4% in the second quarter. Northstar Group Inc. now owns 3,953 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $202,000 after buying an additional 14 shares in the last quarter. American Economic Planning Group Inc. ADV increased its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 0.3% in the third quarter. American Economic Planning Group Inc. ADV now owns 4,878 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $280,000 after buying an additional 14 shares in the last quarter. Gemmer Asset Management LLC increased its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 0.3% in the third quarter. Gemmer Asset Management LLC now owns 7,309 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $421,000 after buying an additional 20 shares in the last quarter. Cortland Associates Inc. MO increased its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 0.4% in the third quarter. Cortland Associates Inc. MO now owns 5,430 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $313,000 after buying an additional 20 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Jaffetilchin Investment Partners LLC increased its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 0.3% in the third quarter. Jaffetilchin Investment Partners LLC now owns 6,188 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $356,000 after buying an additional 21 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 71.81% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) opened at 60.35 on Wednesday. Microsoft Corp. has a 52 week low of $48.03 and a 52 week high of $61.37. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $58.82 and its 200-day moving average price is $55.41. The firm has a market capitalization of $469.24 billion, a PE ratio of 28.90 and a beta of 1.16.

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

The business 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 $0.39 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 15th. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.58%. This is an increase from Microsoft Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. Microsoft Corp.’s payout ratio is currently 75.00%.

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.