Microsoft Target of Unusually High Options Trading (MSFT)

Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) saw some unusual options trading on Tuesday. Stock investors bought 5,273 put options on the company. This is an increase of 132% compared to the typical volume of 2,269 put options.

In other news, EVP Christopher C. Capossela sold 3,000 shares of Microsoft stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.11, for a total value of $207,330.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 216,507 shares in the company, valued at $14,962,798.77. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director William H. Gates III sold 2,500,000 shares of Microsoft stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $68.90, for a total value of $172,250,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 16,645,694 shares of company stock valued at $1,127,019,616 over the last ninety days. 2.99% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MSFT. James Investment Research Inc. raised its stake in Microsoft by 29.5% in the first quarter. James Investment Research Inc. now owns 1,702 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $112,000 after buying an additional 388 shares during the period. Asset Planning Services Ltd. raised its stake in Microsoft 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 buying an additional 837 shares during the period. Peddock Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Microsoft during the third quarter worth about $130,000. Kernodle & Katon Asset Management Group LLC raised its stake in Microsoft by 0.5% in the first quarter. Kernodle & Katon Asset Management Group LLC now owns 2,067 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $136,000 after buying an additional 11 shares during the period. Finally, Pacific Center for Financial Services acquired a new stake in Microsoft during the fourth quarter worth about $155,000. Institutional investors own 72.29% of the company’s stock.

Several equities research analysts recently issued reports on MSFT shares. Wunderlich lifted their price objective on Microsoft from $70.00 to $75.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, January 27th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc reissued a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 price objective (up previously from $68.00) on shares of Microsoft in a research note on Friday, January 27th. Tigress Financial raised Microsoft from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, January 23rd. Stifel Nicolaus lifted their price target on Microsoft from $66.00 to $68.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, January 27th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein set a $76.00 price target on Microsoft and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, January 27th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating, twenty-five have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Microsoft has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $69.44.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) opened at 67.69 on Friday. Microsoft has a 52-week low of $48.04 and a 52-week high of $69.71. The company has a market capitalization of $522.60 billion, a PE ratio of 29.87 and a beta of 1.08. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $67.24 and a 200 day moving average price of $63.94.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The software giant reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $23.56 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $23.62 billion. Microsoft had a net margin of 19.57% and a return on equity of 32.12%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 6.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.62 EPS. Equities research analysts anticipate that Microsoft will post $3.03 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 8th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, May 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.39 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, May 16th. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.30%. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 73.59%.

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Microsoft Company Profile

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.

12 Month Chart for NASDAQ:MSFT

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