McQueen Ball & Associates Inc. raised its stake in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 0.6% during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The firm owned 8,862 shares of the software giant’s stock after buying an additional 57 shares during the period. McQueen Ball & Associates Inc.’s holdings in Microsoft Corporation were worth $584,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in MSFT. Norges Bank bought a new position in shares of Microsoft Corporation during the fourth quarter worth $4,334,099,000. Dodge & Cox bought a new position in shares of Microsoft Corporation during the fourth quarter worth $2,658,504,000. FMR LLC raised its position in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 11.0% in the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 177,344,854 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $11,020,210,000 after buying an additional 17,606,133 shares during the last quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. raised its position in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 791.3% in the fourth quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. now owns 13,263,687 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $825,108,000 after buying an additional 11,775,547 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Russell Investments Group Ltd. bought a new position in shares of Microsoft Corporation during the fourth quarter worth $686,993,000. 72.77% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Shares of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ MSFT) opened at 70.00 on Friday. Microsoft Corporation has a 12 month low of $48.03 and a 12 month high of $72.89. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $69.62 and its 200 day moving average is $65.40. The firm has a market cap of $540.44 billion, a P/E ratio of 30.89 and a beta of 0.99. Microsoft Corporation also was the target of some unusual options trading on Thursday. Stock traders acquired 11,523 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 244% compared to the typical volume of 3,347 put options.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 27th. The software giant reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $23.56 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $23.62 billion. Microsoft Corporation had a return on equity of 33.75% and a net margin of 20.42%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.62 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Microsoft Corporation will post $3.03 EPS for the current year.

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

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A number of research analysts have weighed in on MSFT shares. Pacific Crest reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $78.00 price target (up previously from $70.00) on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research note on Friday, April 28th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. reissued a “strong-buy” rating on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research report on Friday, March 17th. Vetr lowered shares of Microsoft Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $71.27 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday, May 23rd. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $77.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research report on Monday, May 29th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) boosted their price objective on shares of Microsoft Corporation from $72.00 to $78.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, April 28th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating, twenty-six have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Microsoft Corporation currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $69.98.

In other Microsoft Corporation news, EVP Christopher C. Capossela sold 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.11, for a total transaction of $207,330.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 216,507 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,962,798.77. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director William H. Gates III sold 2,500,000 shares of Microsoft Corporation stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $69.40, for a total value of $173,500,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 12,060,786 shares of company stock valued at $831,893,332 over the last three months. 2.99% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

About Microsoft Corporation

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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