Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) was downgraded by Vetr from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Wednesday. They presently have a $59.96 target price on the software giant’s stock. Vetr‘s target price points to a potential upside of 3.81% from the stock’s current price.

MSFT has been the topic of a number of other reports. Cowen and Company raised Microsoft Corp. from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $58.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, May 24th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. set a $55.00 price objective on Microsoft Corp. and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 29th. Citigroup Inc. boosted their price objective on Microsoft Corp. from $36.00 to $37.00 and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, July 7th. Pacific Crest reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a report on Tuesday, September 13th. Finally, Jefferies Group reissued an “underperform” rating and issued a $40.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a report on Tuesday, June 28th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and twenty have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $59.25.

Analyst Recommendations for Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) traded up 1.67% on Wednesday, hitting $57.76. The stock had a trading volume of 33,707,272 shares. The company’s 50 day moving average is $57.55 and its 200 day moving average is $53.96. Microsoft Corp. has a 12-month low of $43.05 and a 12-month high of $58.70. The firm has a market cap of $450.10 billion, a PE ratio of 27.50 and a beta of 1.08.

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Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 19th. The software giant reported $0.69 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ 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 business had revenue of $22.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $22.15 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.60 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts expect that Microsoft Corp. will post $2.90 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 8th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 17th will be issued a dividend of $0.39 per share. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.70%. This is a boost from Microsoft Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 15th. Microsoft Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is 70.24%.

In other news, CEO Satya Nadella sold 143,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.97, for a total transaction of $8,289,710.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 1,200,822 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $69,611,651.34. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director William H. Gates III sold 2,500,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.94, for a total transaction of $139,850,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 3.76% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in MSFT. Northstar Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 0.4% in the second quarter. Northstar Group Inc. now owns 3,953 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $202,000 after buying an additional 14 shares in the last quarter. McQueen Ball & Associates Inc. raised its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 0.3% in the first quarter. McQueen Ball & Associates Inc. now owns 8,429 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $466,000 after buying an additional 25 shares in the last quarter. Palisade Capital Management LLC NJ raised its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 0.4% in the first quarter. Palisade Capital Management LLC NJ now owns 6,744 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $372,000 after buying an additional 27 shares in the last quarter. Capstone Financial Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 0.5% in the second quarter. Capstone Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 7,512 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $384,000 after buying an additional 40 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Lowe fs LLC raised its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 1.4% in the second quarter. Lowe fs LLC now owns 3,206 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $164,000 after buying an additional 44 shares in the last quarter. 71.58% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Microsoft Corp. Company Profile

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.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:MSFT

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