Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) was downgraded by investment analysts at Vetr from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday. They presently have a $71.27 target price on the software giant’s stock. Vetr‘s price objective points to a potential upside of 3.77% from the company’s previous close.

Several other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. Citigroup Inc raised shares of Microsoft from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and lifted their price objective for the stock from $41.00 to $65.00 in a research report on Friday, January 27th. Barclays PLC lifted their price objective on shares of Microsoft from $70.00 to $71.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, January 27th. Macquarie set a $61.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 25th. Pacific Crest reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Thursday, April 20th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $59.00 price target on shares of Microsoft and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 25th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating, twenty-five have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $69.45.

Analyst Recommendations for Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Shares of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) traded up 0.34% during trading on Tuesday, hitting $68.68. The stock had a trading volume of 15,425,824 shares. Microsoft has a one year low of $48.03 and a one year high of $69.71. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $67.41 and its 200-day moving average price is $64.15. The stock has a market cap of $530.24 billion, a P/E ratio of 30.31 and a beta of 1.08.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 27th. The software giant reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $23.56 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $23.62 billion. Microsoft had a net margin of 19.57% and a return on equity of 32.12%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.62 EPS. Analysts expect that Microsoft will post $3.03 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 8th. Investors of record on Thursday, May 18th will be paid a dividend of $0.39 per share. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.27%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, May 16th. Microsoft’s payout ratio is 73.59%.

WARNING: “Vetr Inc. Lowers Microsoft Co. (MSFT) to Hold” was first posted by American Banking News and is owned by of American Banking News. If you are viewing this article on another publication, it was illegally stolen and republished in violation of US and international copyright and trademark laws. The original version of this article can be viewed at https://www.americanbankingnews.com/2017/05/23/vetr-inc-lowers-microsoft-co-msft-to-hold.html.

In related news, EVP Christopher C. Capossela sold 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $69.11, for a total transaction of $207,330.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 216,507 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $14,962,798.77. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director William H. Gates III sold 2,500,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $69.40, for a total transaction of $173,500,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 16,645,694 shares of company stock worth $1,127,019,616 in the last three months. Insiders own 2.99% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. James Investment Research Inc. increased its position in shares of Microsoft by 29.5% in the first quarter. James Investment Research Inc. now owns 1,702 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $112,000 after buying an additional 388 shares during the last quarter. Asset Planning Services Ltd. increased its position in shares of Microsoft by 93.0% in the first quarter. Asset Planning Services Ltd. now owns 1,737 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 837 shares during the last quarter. Kernodle & Katon Asset Management Group LLC increased its position in shares of Microsoft by 0.5% in the first quarter. Kernodle & Katon Asset Management Group LLC now owns 2,067 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $136,000 after buying an additional 11 shares during the last quarter. Pacific Center for Financial Services purchased a new position in shares of Microsoft during the fourth quarter valued at about $155,000. Finally, Welch Investments LLC purchased a new position in shares of Microsoft during the fourth quarter valued at about $160,000. 72.29% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Microsoft Company Profile

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.

12 Month Chart for NASDAQ:MSFT

To view Vetr’s full report, visit Vetr’s official website.

Receive News & Ratings for Microsoft Co. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Microsoft Co. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.