Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)‘s stock had its “buy” rating reiterated by analysts at Canaccord Genuity in a research note issued to investors on Monday, May 22nd. They currently have a $68.00 target price on the software giant’s stock. Canaccord Genuity’s price target suggests a potential downside of 2.86% from the stock’s previous close.

Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. BGC Financial raised their price objective on shares of Microsoft Corporation to $65.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 25th. Jefferies Group LLC lifted their price target on shares of Microsoft Corporation from $43.00 to $45.00 and gave the company an “underperform” rating in a research report on Friday, January 27th. J P Morgan Chase & Co set a $59.00 price target on shares of Microsoft Corporation and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 25th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Microsoft Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 31st. Finally, Tigress Financial raised shares of Microsoft Corporation from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, January 23rd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating, twenty-six have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $69.98.

Analyst Recommendations for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Shares of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ MSFT) traded up 0.14% on Monday, reaching $70.00. 48,345,085 shares of the company were exchanged. Microsoft Corporation has a 52-week low of $48.03 and a 52-week high of $72.89. The company has a market capitalization of $540.44 billion, a P/E ratio of 30.89 and a beta of 0.99. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $69.62 and a 200-day moving average of $65.40. Microsoft Corporation also was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Thursday. Traders bought 11,523 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 244% compared to the average daily volume of 3,347 put options.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The software giant reported $0.73 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $23.56 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $23.62 billion. Microsoft Corporation had a net margin of 20.42% and a return on equity of 33.75%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 6.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.62 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that Microsoft Corporation will post $3.03 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 17th will be given a dividend of $0.39 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 15th. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.23%. Microsoft Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 69.03%.

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In other Microsoft Corporation news, Director William H. Gates III sold 2,500,000 shares of Microsoft Corporation stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.40, for a total value of $173,500,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Jean Philippe Courtois sold 26,694 shares of Microsoft Corporation stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.00, for a total value of $1,841,886.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 607,688 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $41,930,472. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 12,060,786 shares of company stock valued at $831,893,332 over the last 90 days. 2.99% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. James Investment Research Inc. boosted its position in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 29.5% in the first quarter. James Investment Research Inc. now owns 1,702 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $112,000 after buying an additional 388 shares during the last quarter. Asset Planning Services Ltd. boosted its position in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 93.0% in the first quarter. Asset Planning Services Ltd. now owns 1,737 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 837 shares during the last quarter. Ullmann Financial Group Inc. bought a new position in shares of Microsoft Corporation during the first quarter valued at about $132,000. Kernodle & Katon Asset Management Group LLC boosted its position in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 0.5% in the first quarter. Kernodle & Katon Asset Management Group LLC now owns 2,067 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $136,000 after buying an additional 11 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Pacific Center for Financial Services acquired a new position in Microsoft Corporation during the fourth quarter valued at $155,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.77% of the company’s stock.

Microsoft Corporation Company Profile

Microsoft Corporation is a technology company. The Company develops, licenses, and supports a range of software products, services and devices. The Company’s segments include Productivity and Business Processes, Intelligent Cloud and More Personal Computing. The Company’s 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.

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