North Star Asset Management Inc. lowered its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 2.4% during the third quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 180,683 shares of the software giant’s stock after selling 4,469 shares during the period. Microsoft Corp. comprises 1.2% of North Star Asset Management Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 23rd largest position. North Star Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in Microsoft Corp. were worth $10,407,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other large investors also recently made changes to their positions in MSFT. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. acquired a new position in Microsoft Corp. during the second quarter worth about $699,840,000. Janus Capital Management LLC increased its position in Microsoft Corp. by 40.2% in the second quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 41,604,434 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $2,128,899,000 after buying an additional 11,937,675 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Microsoft Corp. by 1.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 504,208,409 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $25,800,344,000 after buying an additional 8,371,988 shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. increased its position in Microsoft Corp. by 7.8% in the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 93,704,245 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $4,794,838,000 after buying an additional 6,760,471 shares in the last quarter. Finally, NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. acquired a new position in Microsoft Corp. during the first quarter worth about $370,367,000. 71.64% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Shares of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) traded up 0.22% during trading on Friday, reaching $60.53. 8,409,616 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $59.22 and its 200 day moving average price is $55.75. Microsoft Corp. has a 52 week low of $48.04 and a 52 week high of $61.37. The firm has a market capitalization of $470.64 billion, a PE ratio of 28.99 and a beta of 1.16.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 20th. The software giant reported $0.76 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $22.30 billion for 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 firm’s revenue was up 3.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.67 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Microsoft Corp. will post $2.97 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 8th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 17th will be issued a dividend of $0.39 per share. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.58%. This is a boost from Microsoft Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 15th. Microsoft Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is 75.00%.

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A number of research firms recently issued reports on MSFT. BMO Capital Markets boosted their target price on shares of Microsoft Corp. from $62.00 to $69.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, October 21st. Vetr upgraded shares of Microsoft Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.27 target price for the company in a research report on Thursday. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $70.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research report on Monday, November 7th. Atlantic Securities upgraded shares of Microsoft Corp. from an “underweight” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 10th. Finally, Nomura reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $68.00 price objective (up previously from $65.00) on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research report on Friday, October 21st. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and twenty-four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $62.26.

In other news, EVP Christopher C. Capossela sold 18,583 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 14th. The shares were 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 owns 243,306 shares in the company, valued at $14,252,865.48. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director William H. Gates III sold 2,700,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.99, for a total transaction of $164,673,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 2.99% 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

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