Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Wednesday. Traders purchased 29,563 put options on the company. This represents an increase of 118% compared to the average daily volume of 13,565 put options.

Shares of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) opened at 74.41 on Friday. Microsoft Corporation has a 12 month low of $56.32 and a 12 month high of $75.97. The company has a 50 day moving average of $73.41 and a 200-day moving average of $69.80. The firm has a market capitalization of $573.12 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.46 and a beta of 1.00.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 20th. The software giant reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.27. The company had revenue of $24.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $24.29 billion. Microsoft Corporation had a return on equity of 36.81% and a net margin of 23.57%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 9.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.69 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Microsoft Corporation will post $3.18 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 14th. Investors of record on Thursday, November 16th will be paid a $0.42 dividend. This is a positive change from Microsoft Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.39. This represents a $1.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.26%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 15th. Microsoft Corporation’s payout ratio is currently 57.78%.

In other news, insider Jean Philippe Courtois sold 26,763 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $74.00, for a total value of $1,980,462.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 537,519 shares in the company, valued at $39,776,406. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CFO Amy Hood sold 55,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.71, for a total transaction of $3,999,050.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 510,217 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $37,097,878.07. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 7,108,526 shares of company stock valued at $515,879,974 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 2.99% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Northstar Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 0.3% in the first quarter. Northstar Group Inc. now owns 3,790 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $248,000 after acquiring an additional 12 shares during the period. Gierl Augustine Investment Management Inc lifted its stake in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 0.3% in the first quarter. Gierl Augustine Investment Management Inc now owns 4,034 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $266,000 after acquiring an additional 13 shares during the period. New Capital Management LP lifted its stake in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 0.5% in the first quarter. New Capital Management LP now owns 4,305 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $284,000 after acquiring an additional 22 shares during the period. Nottingham Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 0.4% in the second quarter. Nottingham Advisors Inc. now owns 5,399 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $372,000 after acquiring an additional 22 shares during the period. Finally, American Economic Planning Group Inc. ADV lifted its stake in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 0.5% in the second quarter. American Economic Planning Group Inc. ADV now owns 4,939 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $340,000 after acquiring an additional 23 shares during the period. 73.40% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

MSFT has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Microsoft Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $77.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft Corporation and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 10th. Stifel Nicolaus restated a “buy” rating and issued a $73.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research note on Sunday, July 9th. Morningstar, Inc. restated a “buy” rating on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. Finally, Cleveland Research initiated coverage on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $80.00 price objective for the company. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and thirty have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $76.72.

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Microsoft Corporation 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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