First Bank & Trust lifted its holdings in shares of Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 5.3% in the 3rd quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 20,674 shares of the software giant’s stock after buying an additional 1,034 shares during the quarter. Microsoft makes up approximately 2.2% of First Bank & Trust’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 3rd largest position. First Bank & Trust’s holdings in Microsoft were worth $2,874,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in MSFT. New England Private Wealth Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Microsoft by 0.7% in the second quarter. New England Private Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 10,520 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $1,408,000 after buying an additional 72 shares in the last quarter. Orgel Wealth Management LLC increased its holdings in Microsoft by 1.2% in the second quarter. Orgel Wealth Management LLC now owns 6,492 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $870,000 after buying an additional 74 shares in the last quarter. Planning Directions Inc. increased its holdings in Microsoft by 3.2% in the second quarter. Planning Directions Inc. now owns 2,418 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $324,000 after buying an additional 74 shares in the last quarter. Addison Capital Co increased its holdings in Microsoft by 0.6% in the third quarter. Addison Capital Co now owns 13,332 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $1,854,000 after buying an additional 74 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Weybosset Research & Management LLC increased its holdings in Microsoft by 2.1% in the second quarter. Weybosset Research & Management LLC now owns 3,625 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $486,000 after buying an additional 75 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.19% of the company’s stock.

In related news, CMO Christopher C. Capossela sold 9,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $135.58, for a total transaction of $1,220,220.00. Following the sale, the chief marketing officer now owns 119,579 shares in the company, valued at $16,212,520.82. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Frank H. Brod sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $141.05, for a total transaction of $564,200.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 64,152 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,048,639.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 318,757 shares of company stock worth $43,735,918. 1.38% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of brokerages have issued reports on MSFT. Wedbush set a $160.00 target price on shares of Microsoft and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 10th. Morgan Stanley set a $155.00 target price on shares of Microsoft and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday. Royal Bank of Canada began coverage on shares of Microsoft in a report on Friday. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $160.00 target price for the company. Jefferies Financial Group raised shares of Microsoft from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $160.00 target price for the company in a report on Monday, October 7th. Finally, Argus increased their target price on shares of Microsoft to $158.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 25th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, thirty have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $153.20.

Shares of MSFT opened at $137.41 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.71, a current ratio of 2.53 and a quick ratio of 2.50. The firm has a 50 day simple moving average of $138.14 and a 200-day simple moving average of $132.82. Microsoft Co. has a 1-year low of $93.96 and a 1-year high of $142.37. The stock has a market cap of $1,074.96 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.93, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.26 and a beta of 1.22.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 18th. The software giant reported $1.37 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.21 by $0.16. Microsoft had a net margin of 31.18% and a return on equity of 39.26%. The business had revenue of $33.72 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.80 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.13 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 12.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that Microsoft Co. will post 5.21 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Microsoft announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Wednesday, September 18th that permits the company to buyback $40.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the software giant to reacquire up to 3.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 12th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 21st will be paid a dividend of $0.51 per share. This represents a $2.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.48%. This is a boost from Microsoft’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.46. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 20th. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 38.74%.

Microsoft Company Profile

Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports software, services, devices, and solutions worldwide. Its company's Productivity and Business Processes segment offers Office 365 commercial products and services, such as Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, and related Client Access Licenses (CALs); Office 365 consumer services, including Skype, Outlook.com, and OneDrive; LinkedIn online professional network; and Dynamics business solutions comprising financial management, enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, supply chain management, and analytics applications for small and medium businesses, large organizations, and divisions of enterprises.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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