Equities research analysts expect Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) to announce $24.25 billion in sales for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Eight analysts have made estimates for Microsoft’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $24.13 billion to $24.61 billion. Microsoft reported sales of $20.61 billion in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 17.7%. The firm is scheduled to announce its next quarterly earnings results after the market closes on Thursday, July 20th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Microsoft will report full-year sales of $24.25 billion for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $96.09 billion to $96.68 billion. For the next fiscal year, analysts forecast that the business will post sales of $103.36 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $100.67 billion to $105.37 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales averages are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that follow Microsoft.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The software giant reported $0.73 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $23.56 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $23.62 billion. Microsoft had a net margin of 19.57% and a return on equity of 32.12%. Microsoft’s quarterly revenue was up 6.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.62 EPS.

Several research analysts have weighed in on MSFT shares. Pacific Crest restated a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 target price (up from $70.00) on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Friday, April 28th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc restated a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 target price (up from $68.00) on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Friday, January 27th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. restated a “strong-buy” rating on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Friday, March 17th. Vetr downgraded shares of Microsoft from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $71.27 price target on the stock. in a report on Tuesday. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada upped their price target on shares of Microsoft from $65.00 to $71.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, January 27th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating, twenty-five have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $69.45.

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Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) opened at 69.96 on Friday. Microsoft has a 52 week low of $48.03 and a 52 week high of $70.22. The company has a 50-day moving average of $67.68 and a 200-day moving average of $64.26. The stock has a market capitalization of $540.13 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.87 and a beta of 1.08.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 8th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, May 18th will be paid a $0.39 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, May 16th. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.23%. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio is presently 73.59%.

In related news, Director William H. Gates III sold 2,500,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $69.40, for a total transaction of $173,500,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Jean Philippe Courtois sold 26,694 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.00, for a total transaction of $1,841,886.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 607,688 shares in the company, valued at approximately $41,930,472. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 12,060,786 shares of company stock worth $831,893,332 in the last 90 days. 2.99% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Manning & Napier Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Microsoft by 507.4% in the third quarter. Manning & Napier Advisors LLC now owns 4,613,038 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $265,710,000 after buying an additional 3,853,559 shares during the period. Spero Smith Investment Advisers Inc. OH boosted its stake in shares of Microsoft by 5.8% in the third quarter. Spero Smith Investment Advisers Inc. OH now owns 42,720 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $2,461,000 after buying an additional 2,340 shares in the last quarter. Vicus Capital boosted its stake in shares of Microsoft by 0.4% in the third quarter. Vicus Capital now owns 122,562 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $7,060,000 after buying an additional 461 shares in the last quarter. Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Microsoft by 0.4% in the third quarter. Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. Ltd. now owns 12,200,244 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $702,734,000 after buying an additional 51,665 shares in the last quarter. Finally, SignalPoint Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Microsoft by 165.4% in the third quarter. SignalPoint Asset Management LLC now owns 42,377 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $2,441,000 after buying an additional 26,410 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.29% of the company’s stock.

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.

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