Appleton Partners Inc. MA reduced its stake in shares of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 2.1% during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 95,223 shares of the software giant’s stock after selling 2,058 shares during the period. Microsoft Corporation comprises 1.2% of Appleton Partners Inc. MA’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 22nd largest position. Appleton Partners Inc. MA’s holdings in Microsoft Corporation were worth $6,271,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Norges Bank bought a new position in shares of Microsoft Corporation during the fourth quarter valued at $4,334,099,000. Dodge & Cox bought a new position in shares of Microsoft Corporation during the fourth quarter valued at $2,658,504,000. Viking Global Investors LP boosted its position in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 60.6% in the fourth quarter. Viking Global Investors LP now owns 21,950,056 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $1,363,976,000 after buying an additional 8,282,782 shares during the period. Fisher Asset Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 1.1% in the first quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 18,652,532 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $1,228,456,000 after buying an additional 199,259 shares during the period. Finally, Putnam Investments LLC boosted its position in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 18.3% in the fourth quarter. Putnam Investments LLC now owns 16,572,302 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $1,029,802,000 after buying an additional 2,568,932 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 72.64% of the company’s stock.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) traded up 0.18% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $72.82. The company had a trading volume of 12,794,301 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $560.88 billion, a PE ratio of 26.87 and a beta of 1.01. The company has a 50 day moving average of $72.63 and a 200 day moving average of $68.58. Microsoft Corporation has a 1-year low of $55.61 and a 1-year high of $74.42.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 20th. The software giant reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.27. Microsoft Corporation had a net margin of 23.57% and a return on equity of 36.81%. The company had revenue of $24.70 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $24.29 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.69 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 9.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Microsoft Corporation will post $3.21 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 17th will be given a $0.39 dividend. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.14%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 15th. Microsoft Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is presently 57.78%.

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MSFT has been the subject of several recent research reports. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $87.00 price target on Microsoft Corporation and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 21st. Evercore ISI reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $80.00 price target on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research report on Friday, August 18th. Morningstar, Inc. reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research report on Wednesday, June 28th. Vetr cut Microsoft Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $71.27 price target for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, May 23rd. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $77.00 price target on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research report on Monday, May 29th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and twenty-nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $76.26.

In other Microsoft Corporation news, insider G Mason Morfit sold 7,000,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.56, for a total value of $507,920,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider Jean Philippe Courtois sold 26,763 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $74.00, for a total transaction of $1,980,462.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 544,080 shares in the company, valued at $40,261,920. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 2.99% of the company’s stock.

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

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