Shares of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) have received an average rating of “Buy” from the forty-one analysts that are covering the company, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, ten have assigned a hold recommendation and twenty-nine have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1-year price objective among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $77.53.

A number of research analysts recently commented on the company. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a report on Thursday. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $77.00 price target on Microsoft Corporation and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, September 18th. Vetr cut Microsoft Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $74.32 price target on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. Canaccord Genuity reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $76.00 price target on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a report on Friday, September 15th. Finally, ValuEngine cut Microsoft Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, October 2nd.

In other Microsoft Corporation news, insider Jean Philippe Courtois sold 26,763 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 25th. The stock was 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 544,080 shares in the company, valued at $40,261,920. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CFO Amy Hood sold 55,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.71, for a total value 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. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 7,108,526 shares of company stock valued at $515,879,974. 2.99% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MSFT. Acrospire Investment Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 300.0% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 1,600 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $110,000 after purchasing an additional 1,200 shares during the period. Hefty Wealth Partners increased its holdings in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 65.6% in the second quarter. Hefty Wealth Partners now owns 1,648 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $113,000 after purchasing an additional 653 shares during the period. Asset Planning Services Ltd. increased its holdings in shares of Microsoft Corporation 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 purchasing an additional 837 shares during the period. Ullmann Financial Group Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Microsoft Corporation in the first quarter valued at about $132,000. Finally, Stelac Advisory Services LLC increased its holdings in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 23.5% in the second quarter. Stelac Advisory Services LLC now owns 2,033 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $140,000 after purchasing an additional 387 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 73.40% of the company’s stock.

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Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) traded up 0.92% during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $77.12. 16,876,336 shares of the stock traded hands. Microsoft Corporation has a 1-year low of $56.31 and a 1-year high of $77.29. The firm has a market capitalization of $594.00 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.46 and a beta of 1.01. The company has a 50-day moving average of $74.41 and a 200 day moving average of $70.93.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 20th. The software giant reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.27. Microsoft Corporation had a return on equity of 36.81% and a net margin of 23.57%. The company had revenue of $24.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $24.29 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.69 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 9.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Microsoft Corporation will post $3.20 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 14th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 16th will be paid a $0.42 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 15th. This is a boost from Microsoft Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.39. This represents a $1.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.18%. Microsoft Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 57.78%.

About Microsoft Corporation

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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