Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) declared a quarterly dividend on Tuesday, September 20th. Investors of record on Thursday, November 17th will be paid a dividend of 0.39 per share by the software giant on Thursday, December 8th. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.75%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 15th. This is a boost from Microsoft Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36.

A number of research analysts recently weighed in on MSFT shares. Cowen and Company raised Microsoft Corp. from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $58.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, May 24th. Vetr raised Microsoft Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $59.88 price objective on the stock in a report on Thursday, September 8th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. set a $55.00 price objective on Microsoft Corp. and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 29th. Citigroup Inc. upped their price objective on Microsoft Corp. from $36.00 to $37.00 and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, July 7th. Finally, Pacific Crest reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 target price on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research report on Tuesday, September 13th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and twenty-one have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $59.25.

In other news, Director William H. Gates III sold 2,500,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.94, for a total transaction of $139,850,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CFO Amy Hood sold 120,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.86, for a total value of $6,943,200.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 523,425 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $30,285,370.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 3.76% of the company’s stock.

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Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Roble Belko & Company Inc boosted its stake in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 9.0% in the second quarter. Roble Belko & Company Inc now owns 2,535 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $130,000 after buying an additional 210 shares during the period. FFT Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Microsoft Corp. during the second quarter valued at approximately $206,000. Vontobel Swiss Wealth Advisors AG acquired a new stake in shares of Microsoft Corp. during the second quarter valued at approximately $225,000. Signature Estate & Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Microsoft Corp. during the second quarter valued at approximately $233,000. Finally, US Financial Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 1.4% in the second quarter. US Financial Advisors LLC now owns 4,367 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $241,000 after buying an additional 60 shares during the period. 71.65% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) traded down 0.21% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $56.81. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 17,326,115 shares. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $57.51 and a 200 day moving average price of $53.89. Microsoft Corp. has a 52 week low of $43.05 and a 52 week high of $58.70. The stock has a market capitalization of $442.69 billion, a PE ratio of 27.05 and a beta of 1.08.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 19th. The software giant reported $0.69 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.11. Microsoft Corp. had a return on equity of 29.38% and a net margin of 19.33%. The company had revenue of $22.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $22.15 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.60 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that Microsoft Corp. will post $2.90 earnings per share for the current year.

About Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft Corporation is a technology company. The Company develops, licenses and supports a range of software products, services and devices. Its segments are Productivity and Business Processes, Intelligent Cloud, and More Personal Computing. Its 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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