California Public Employees Retirement System decreased its stake in shares of Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 1.4% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 18,218,686 shares of the software giant’s stock after selling 263,288 shares during the period. Microsoft accounts for 3.7% of California Public Employees Retirement System’s portfolio, making the stock its largest position. California Public Employees Retirement System owned about 0.24% of Microsoft worth $4,935,442,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
A number of other hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of MSFT. TCI Fund Management Ltd. increased its position in Microsoft by 43.1% during the first quarter. TCI Fund Management Ltd. now owns 20,483,405 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $4,829,372,000 after purchasing an additional 6,168,906 shares during the last quarter. Liberty Wealth Management LLC increased its position in Microsoft by 24,327.2% during the second quarter. Liberty Wealth Management LLC now owns 5,717,183 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $21,104,000 after purchasing an additional 5,693,778 shares during the last quarter. Altshuler Shaham Ltd grew its stake in Microsoft by 14,603.6% during the first quarter. Altshuler Shaham Ltd now owns 4,430,203 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $1,044,509,000 after buying an additional 4,400,073 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its stake in Microsoft by 2.6% during the second quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 123,322,145 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $33,314,811,000 after buying an additional 3,090,751 shares during the period. Finally, Prentice Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in Microsoft during the first quarter worth approximately $3,002,000. 69.17% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
MSFT has been the subject of several research reports. Credit Suisse Group boosted their price objective on shares of Microsoft from $300.00 to $320.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 28th. Mizuho reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $350.00 price objective (up from $325.00) on shares of Microsoft in a research note on Friday, August 20th. KeyCorp boosted their price objective on shares of Microsoft from $305.00 to $330.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 22nd. Bank of America boosted their price objective on shares of Microsoft from $325.00 to $340.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 28th. Finally, Barclays upped their target price on shares of Microsoft from $330.00 to $345.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, September 17th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, thirty-one have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat.com, Microsoft presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $324.84.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last issued its earnings results on Monday, July 26th. The software giant reported $2.17 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.92 by $0.25. The company had revenue of $46.15 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $44.30 billion. Microsoft had a net margin of 36.45% and a return on equity of 45.76%. The firm’s revenue was up 21.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.46 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts expect that Microsoft Co. will post 8.61 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 9th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.62 per share. This represents a $2.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.84%. This is a boost from Microsoft’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 17th. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio is 28.11%.
Microsoft declared that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, September 14th that authorizes the company to buyback $60.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the software giant to reacquire up to 2.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
In related news, CEO Satya Nadella sold 75,573 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $303.28, for a total value of $22,919,779.44. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 1,632,350 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $495,059,108. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Amy Hood sold 60,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $303.08, for a total transaction of $18,184,800.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 165,573 shares of company stock worth $50,066,379 over the last three months. 0.05% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Microsoft Corp. engages in the development and support of software, services, devices, and solutions. It operates through the following business segments: Productivity and Business Processes; Intelligent Cloud; and More Personal Computing. The Productivity and Business Processes segment comprises products and services in the portfolio of productivity, communication, and information services of the company spanning a variety of devices and platform.
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