Microsoft Co. (MSFT) Short Interest Update

Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) saw a significant drop in short interest in October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 40,675,990 shares, a drop of 12.3% from the October 15th total of 46,403,307 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 45,522,602 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 0.9 days. Currently, 0.5% of the company’s stock are short sold.

Several research firms have weighed in on MSFT. Credit Suisse Group set a $125.00 target price on Microsoft and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 20th. Nomura set a $118.00 target price on Microsoft and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 20th. Atlantic Securities set a $130.00 target price on Microsoft and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 20th. Stifel Nicolaus restated a “buy” rating and set a $120.00 target price on shares of Microsoft in a report on Thursday, October 25th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein restated a “buy” rating and set a $137.00 target price on shares of Microsoft in a report on Thursday, October 25th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating, thirty-three have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. Microsoft currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $121.88.

Microsoft stock opened at $109.57 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88, a quick ratio of 2.85 and a current ratio of 2.92. The stock has a market capitalization of $829.42 billion, a PE ratio of 28.24, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.97 and a beta of 1.26. Microsoft has a 52 week low of $80.70 and a 52 week high of $116.18.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 24th. The software giant reported $1.14 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.96 by $0.18. Microsoft had a return on equity of 39.86% and a net margin of 16.38%. The business had revenue of $29.08 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $27.92 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.84 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 18.5% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Microsoft will post 4.39 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 13th. Investors of record on Thursday, November 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.68%. This is a positive change from Microsoft’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.42. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 14th. Microsoft’s payout ratio is currently 43.30%.

In other Microsoft news, CEO Satya Nadella sold 203,418 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $106.68, for a total transaction of $21,700,632.24. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,014,247 shares in the company, valued at $108,199,869.96. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Kathleen T. Hogan sold 40,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $111.31, for a total value of $4,452,400.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 339,972 shares in the company, valued at $37,842,283.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 479,080 shares of company stock worth $52,100,893. Corporate insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Cobblestone Capital Advisors LLC NY increased its stake in Microsoft by 1.2% during the third quarter. Cobblestone Capital Advisors LLC NY now owns 62,584 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $7,158,000 after acquiring an additional 749 shares during the period. Winslow Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Microsoft by 6.6% during the third quarter. Winslow Capital Management LLC now owns 11,729,638 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $1,341,518,000 after acquiring an additional 729,404 shares during the period. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale increased its stake in Microsoft by 1.3% during the third quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 4,506,555 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $508,101,000 after acquiring an additional 56,671 shares during the period. Bank of Hawaii increased its stake in Microsoft by 7.0% during the third quarter. Bank of Hawaii now owns 234,088 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $26,773,000 after acquiring an additional 15,355 shares during the period. Finally, CIBC World Markets Inc. increased its stake in Microsoft by 103.4% during the third quarter. CIBC World Markets Inc. now owns 2,328,268 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $266,284,000 after acquiring an additional 1,183,374 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 71.85% of the company’s stock.

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About Microsoft

Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports software, services, devices, and solutions worldwide. Its company's Productivity and Business Processes segment offers Office 365 commercial products and services for businesses, such as Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, and related Client Access Licenses (CALs); Office 365 consumer services, including Skype, Outlook.com, and OneDrive; LinkedIn online professional network; and Dynamics business solutions comprising financial management, enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, supply chain management, and analytics applications for small and medium businesses, large organizations, and divisions of enterprises.

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