Franklin Street Advisors Inc. NC reduced its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 1.3% during the third quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 253,334 shares of the software giant’s stock after selling 3,353 shares during the period. Microsoft Corp. accounts for approximately 2.7% of Franklin Street Advisors Inc. NC’s holdings, making the stock its 5th largest position. Franklin Street Advisors Inc. NC’s holdings in Microsoft Corp. were worth $14,592,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in MSFT. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake 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. boosted its stake in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 7.8% in the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 93,704,245 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $4,794,838,000 after buying an additional 6,760,471 shares during the period. BlackRock Group LTD boosted its stake in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 1.5% in the second quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 66,254,544 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $3,390,245,000 after buying an additional 976,953 shares during the period. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 2.1% in the second quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 47,081,885 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $2,409,180,000 after buying an additional 980,414 shares during the period. Finally, Janus Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of 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 valued at $2,128,899,000 after buying an additional 11,937,675 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.87% of the company’s stock.

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

Shares of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) traded up 0.15% on Monday, reaching $60.62. 12,267,526 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $59.22 and a 200 day moving average price of $55.75. The firm has a market cap of $471.34 billion, a PE ratio of 29.03 and a beta of 1.16. Microsoft Corp. has a one year low of $48.03 and a one year high of $61.37.

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

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 8th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 17th will be paid a dividend of $0.39 per share. This is an increase 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 2.58%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 15th. Microsoft Corp.’s payout ratio is currently 75.00%.

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Several analysts have weighed in on the stock. BMO Capital Markets lifted their price objective on shares of Microsoft Corp. from $62.00 to $69.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, October 21st. Vetr raised shares of Microsoft Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.27 target price on the stock in a report on Thursday. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $70.00 target price on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a report on Monday, November 7th. Atlantic Securities raised shares of Microsoft Corp. from an “underweight” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, November 10th. Finally, Nomura reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $68.00 target price (up from $65.00) on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a report on Friday, October 21st. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and twenty-four have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $62.26.

In other news, Director William H. Gates III sold 2,000,000 shares of Microsoft Corp. stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.78, for a total transaction of $121,560,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Frank H. Brod sold 5,000 shares of Microsoft Corp. stock in a transaction dated Thursday, October 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.53, for a total value of $302,650.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 121,508 shares in the company, valued at $7,354,879.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 2.99% 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.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:MSFT

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