Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) was the recipient of a large drop in short interest during the month of September. As of September 29th, there was short interest totalling 45,435,015 shares, a drop of 16.7% from the September 15th total of 54,523,682 shares. Currently, 0.6% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 18,398,246 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.5 days.

In related news, insider Jean Philippe Courtois sold 26,763 shares of Microsoft Corporation stock in a transaction that occurred 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 owns 537,519 shares in the company, valued at approximately $39,776,406. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Amy Hood sold 55,000 shares of Microsoft Corporation stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 29th. The shares were 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 approximately $37,097,878.07. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 7,108,526 shares of company stock valued at $515,879,974 in the last quarter. 2.99% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Acrospire Investment Management LLC increased its position 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 worth $110,000 after acquiring an additional 1,200 shares in the last quarter. Hefty Wealth Partners increased its position 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 worth $113,000 after acquiring an additional 653 shares in the last quarter. Asset Planning Services Ltd. increased its position 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 worth $114,000 after acquiring an additional 837 shares in the last quarter. Ullmann Financial Group Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Microsoft Corporation in the first quarter worth approximately $132,000. Finally, Stelac Advisory Services LLC increased its position 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 worth $140,000 after acquiring an additional 387 shares in the last quarter. 73.40% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) opened at 77.12 on Friday. Microsoft Corporation has a 52 week low of $56.66 and a 52 week high of $77.29. The company’s 50 day moving average is $74.53 and its 200 day moving average is $70.97. The stock has a market cap of $594.00 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.46 and a beta of 1.01.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 20th. The software giant reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.27. The business had revenue of $24.70 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $24.29 billion. Microsoft Corporation had a net margin of 23.57% and a return on equity of 36.81%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 9.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.69 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Microsoft Corporation will post $3.20 earnings per share for the current year.

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

MSFT has been the subject of several research reports. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $87.00 target price on shares of Microsoft Corporation and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 21st. Canaccord Genuity restated a “hold” rating and issued a $76.00 price target on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research note on Friday, September 15th. Evercore ISI restated a “buy” rating and issued a $80.00 price target on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research note on Friday, August 18th. Morningstar, Inc. restated a “buy” rating on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. Finally, Macquarie set a $77.00 price target on shares of Microsoft Corporation and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, July 21st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and twenty-nine have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Microsoft Corporation presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $77.44.

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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.

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