Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) was the target of a significant decline in short interest during the month of September. As of September 29th, there was short interest totalling 45,435,015 shares, a decline of 16.7% from the September 15th total of 54,523,682 shares. Approximately 0.6% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 18,398,246 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.5 days.

Shares of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ MSFT) opened at 77.49 on Monday. Microsoft Corporation has a 52-week low of $56.66 and a 52-week high of $77.87. The company has a market cap of $596.85 billion, a PE ratio of 28.59 and a beta of 1.01. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $74.73 and its 200 day moving average is $71.14.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 20th. The software giant reported $0.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.71 by $0.27. Microsoft Corporation had a return on equity of 36.81% and a net margin of 23.57%. The firm had revenue of $24.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $24.29 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.69 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 9.1% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts forecast that Microsoft Corporation will post $3.20 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 16th will be given a dividend of $0.42 per share. This is a positive change from Microsoft Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.39. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 15th. This represents a $1.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.17%. Microsoft Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 57.78%.

In other Microsoft Corporation news, insider Jean Philippe Courtois sold 26,763 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $74.00, for a total value of $1,980,462.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 537,519 shares in the company, valued at $39,776,406. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Amy Hood sold 55,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.71, for a total transaction of $3,999,050.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 510,217 shares in the company, valued at $37,097,878.07. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 7,108,526 shares of company stock worth $515,879,974. 2.99% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in MSFT. Vista Capital Partners Inc. lifted its position in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 0.4% during the 1st quarter. Vista Capital Partners Inc. now owns 9,411 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $620,000 after buying an additional 36 shares in the last quarter. Stock Yards Bank & Trust Co. lifted its position in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 101.4% during the 1st quarter. Stock Yards Bank & Trust Co. now owns 251,147 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $16,540,000 after buying an additional 126,420 shares in the last quarter. Forte Capital LLC ADV lifted its position in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 26.5% during the 1st quarter. Forte Capital LLC ADV now owns 13,663 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $900,000 after buying an additional 2,860 shares in the last quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd lifted its position in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 1.5% during the 1st quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd now owns 2,303,295 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $151,695,000 after buying an additional 34,625 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Augustine Asset Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 0.6% during the 1st quarter. Augustine Asset Management Inc. now owns 141,445 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $9,315,000 after buying an additional 844 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of research analysts have weighed in on MSFT shares. Morgan Stanley set a $80.00 target price on shares of Microsoft Corporation and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, June 19th. Cleveland Research started coverage on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $80.00 target price on the stock. Morningstar, Inc. reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $73.00 target price on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research note on Sunday, July 9th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada set a $77.00 target price on shares of Microsoft Corporation and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 10th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and twenty-nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $77.44.

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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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