Microsoft Co. (MSFT) Receives Average Rating of “Buy” from Analysts

Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) has received an average rating of “Buy” from the forty-one ratings firms that are currently covering the company, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, nine have issued a hold recommendation and thirty have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 12 month target price among analysts that have covered the stock in the last year is $87.99.

MSFT has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Oppenheimer set a $80.00 price target on shares of Microsoft and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, September 25th. ValuEngine cut shares of Microsoft from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. Canaccord Genuity raised shares of Microsoft from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the company from $76.00 to $86.00 in a research note on Thursday, October 5th. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Microsoft in a research note on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, Morningstar reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Microsoft in a research note on Monday, October 16th.

Microsoft (NASDAQ MSFT) traded down $0.10 on Friday, hitting $90.00. 35,612,532 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 22,670,000. Microsoft has a twelve month low of $62.37 and a twelve month high of $90.79. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.91, a current ratio of 3.12 and a quick ratio of 3.06. The company has a market capitalization of $693,540.00, a PE ratio of 30.41, a P/E/G ratio of 2.11 and a beta of 0.99.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The software giant reported $0.84 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.12. Microsoft had a net margin of 24.56% and a return on equity of 35.23%. The business had revenue of $24.50 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $23.57 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.76 earnings per share. Microsoft’s revenue was up 11.7% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts anticipate that Microsoft will post 3.39 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 8th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, February 15th will be paid a $0.42 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 14th. This represents a $1.68 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.87%. Microsoft’s payout ratio is currently 56.76%.

In other news, EVP Christopher C. Capossela sold 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.46, for a total transaction of $333,840.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 189,278 shares in the company, valued at approximately $15,797,141.88. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Frank H. Brod sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $84.08, for a total transaction of $1,261,200.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 116,205 shares in the company, valued at $9,770,516.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 45,000 shares of company stock worth $3,759,420 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 4.6% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 564,052,011 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $38,880,105,000 after buying an additional 25,053,413 shares during the period. Capital Research Global Investors boosted its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 212.3% during the 2nd quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 69,663,044 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $4,801,874,000 after buying an additional 47,353,245 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 609.4% during the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 49,174,883 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $3,389,625,000 after buying an additional 42,243,011 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 2.1% during the 3rd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 38,463,571 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $2,864,881,000 after buying an additional 774,549 shares during the period. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 3.8% during the 4th quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 31,523,813 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $2,696,444,000 after buying an additional 1,148,178 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 73.19% of the company’s stock.

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About Microsoft

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 (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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