Fruth Investment Management lowered its stake in Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 3.2% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 23,144 shares of the software giant’s stock after selling 760 shares during the period. Microsoft makes up approximately 1.8% of Fruth Investment Management’s holdings, making the stock its 9th biggest position. Fruth Investment Management’s holdings in Microsoft were worth $5,147,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of MSFT. NuWave Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Microsoft by 3,250.0% during the fourth quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC now owns 134 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $30,000 after acquiring an additional 130 shares during the period. Newfound Research LLC bought a new stake in shares of Microsoft in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $32,000. FNY Investment Advisers LLC bought a new stake in Microsoft during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $45,000. Your Advocates Ltd. LLP grew its position in Microsoft by 588.2% during the 2nd quarter. Your Advocates Ltd. LLP now owns 351 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $71,000 after acquiring an additional 300 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Carolina Wealth Advisors LLC grew its position in Microsoft by 20.1% during the 3rd quarter. Carolina Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 341 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $72,000 after acquiring an additional 57 shares during the last quarter. 63.89% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In related news, CEO Satya Nadella sold 104,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $222.52, for a total value of $23,253,340.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 1,392,573 shares in the company, valued at approximately $309,875,343.96. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, President Bradford L. Smith sold 200,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $222.58, for a total value of $44,516,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the president now owns 778,439 shares in the company, valued at approximately $173,264,952.62. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 334,500 shares of company stock valued at $74,142,240. 0.05% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 27th. The software giant reported $1.82 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.53 by $0.29. The company had revenue of $37.15 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $35.67 billion. Microsoft had a return on equity of 40.74% and a net margin of 32.28%. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that Microsoft Co. will post 6.73 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 11th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, February 18th will be issued a $0.56 dividend. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.04%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 17th. Microsoft’s payout ratio is presently 38.89%.
A number of equities research analysts recently commented on the company. BidaskClub lowered Microsoft from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 7th. Citigroup Inc. 3% Minimum Coupon Principal Protected Based Upon Russell upgraded Microsoft from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $229.00 to $272.00 in a research report on Monday, December 21st. Mizuho upped their price objective on Microsoft from $240.00 to $255.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 15th. Summit Insights downgraded Microsoft from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 29th. Finally, Tigress Financial reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Microsoft in a report on Sunday, November 1st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating, thirty-two have issued a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Microsoft currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $236.71.
Microsoft Company Profile
Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports software, services, devices, and solutions worldwide. Its Productivity and Business Processes segment offers Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, Office 365 Security and Compliance, and Skype for Business, as well as related Client Access Licenses (CAL); Skype, Outlook.com, OneDrive, and LinkedIn; and Dynamics 365, a set of cloud-based and on-premises business solutions for small and medium businesses, large organizations, and divisions of enterprises.
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