Vetr upgraded shares of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Wednesday morning. They currently have $77.30 price objective on the software giant’s stock.

A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on the stock. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $77.00 target price on shares of Microsoft Corporation and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Monday, July 10th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Microsoft Corporation from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, July 24th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a sell rating and issued a $49.00 price target (up from $45.00) on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a report on Monday, July 17th. ValuEngine raised shares of Microsoft Corporation from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday. Finally, UBS AG reissued a buy rating and issued a $82.00 price target (up from $73.00) on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a report on Friday, July 21st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and thirty have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $76.66.

Shares of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ MSFT) traded down 0.48% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $73.98. 14,703,816 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $73.10 and a 200 day moving average of $69.19. Microsoft Corporation has a 12-month low of $55.61 and a 12-month high of $74.96. The company has a market cap of $569.81 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.30 and a beta of 1.00.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 20th. The software giant reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.71 by $0.27. The firm had revenue of $24.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $24.29 billion. Microsoft Corporation had a net margin of 23.57% and a return on equity of 36.81%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 9.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.69 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that Microsoft Corporation will post $3.22 EPS for the current year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 17th will be given a $0.39 dividend. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.11%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 15th. Microsoft Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is presently 57.78%.

In other news, CFO Amy Hood sold 55,000 shares of Microsoft Corporation stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.71, for a total value of $3,999,050.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 510,217 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $37,097,878.07. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Jean Philippe Courtois sold 26,763 shares of Microsoft Corporation stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $74.00, for a total value of $1,980,462.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 537,519 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $39,776,406. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 7,108,526 shares of company stock valued at $515,879,974. 2.99% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Norges Bank purchased a new position in Microsoft Corporation in the 4th quarter worth about $4,334,099,000. Capital Research Global Investors raised its position in Microsoft Corporation by 212.3% in the 2nd quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 69,663,044 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $4,801,874,000 after buying an additional 47,353,245 shares during the last quarter. Dodge & Cox purchased a new position in Microsoft Corporation in the 4th quarter worth about $2,658,504,000. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its position in Microsoft Corporation by 609.4% in the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 49,174,883 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $3,389,625,000 after buying an additional 42,243,011 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Microsoft Corporation by 4.6% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 564,052,011 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $38,880,105,000 after buying an additional 25,053,413 shares during the last quarter. 73.47% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

To view Vetr’s full report, visit Vetr’s official website.

Analyst Recommendations for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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