Microsoft Co. (MSFT) Short Interest Down 31.9% in January

Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) was the target of a large drop in short interest in January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 39,768,623 shares, a drop of 31.9% from the January 15th total of 58,402,379 shares. Approximately 0.5% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 34,027,502 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 1.2 days.

Shares of NASDAQ:MSFT opened at $105.25 on Tuesday. Microsoft has a 1-year low of $87.08 and a 1-year high of $116.18. The company has a market cap of $813.64 billion, a PE ratio of 27.13, a PEG ratio of 1.94 and a beta of 1.17. The company has a current ratio of 3.12, a quick ratio of 3.08 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 30th. The software giant reported $1.10 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.09 by $0.01. Microsoft had a return on equity of 39.52% and a net margin of 28.31%. The company had revenue of $32.47 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $32.53 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.96 EPS. Microsoft’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts expect that Microsoft will post 4.41 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, February 21st will be issued a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.75%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 20th. Microsoft’s payout ratio is presently 47.42%.

In related news, CEO Satya Nadella sold 267,466 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $106.01, for a total value of $28,354,070.66. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,746,854 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $185,183,992.54. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CMO Christopher C. Capossela sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $111.77, for a total value of $1,117,700.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief marketing officer now directly owns 177,931 shares in the company, valued at $19,887,347.87. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 285,466 shares of company stock worth $30,325,771 over the last three months. 1.38% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Highwater Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in Microsoft in the 4th quarter valued at $27,000. Quantamental Technologies LLC acquired a new stake in Microsoft in the 4th quarter valued at $26,000. Mackey Komara & Dankovich LLC acquired a new stake in Microsoft in the 4th quarter valued at $30,000. Pearl River Capital LLC acquired a new stake in Microsoft in the 4th quarter valued at $38,000. Finally, Ayalon Holdings Ltd. acquired a new stake in Microsoft in the 4th quarter valued at $41,000. 73.81% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Several research analysts have commented on MSFT shares. Macquarie reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Monday, October 15th. DZ Bank reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Thursday, October 18th. Wedbush started coverage on Microsoft in a research report on Thursday, October 18th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $140.00 price target on the stock. Oppenheimer set a $127.00 price target on Microsoft and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, October 19th. Finally, Bank of America lifted their price target on Microsoft from $134.00 to $135.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, October 22nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating, thirty-one have assigned a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $122.11.

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Microsoft Company Profile

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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