Ascension Asset Management LLC trimmed its holdings in Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 6.7% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 29,918 shares of the software giant’s stock after selling 2,145 shares during the quarter. Microsoft makes up approximately 3.8% of Ascension Asset Management LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 2nd biggest position. Ascension Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Microsoft were worth $4,159,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the business. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in Microsoft by 1.3% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 613,005,516 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $82,118,218,000 after buying an additional 7,724,483 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp raised its holdings in Microsoft by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 96,567,563 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $12,936,190,000 after buying an additional 385,074 shares during the period. Nuveen Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in Microsoft by 2,651.8% during the 2nd quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 67,353,275 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $9,022,645,000 after buying an additional 64,905,685 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its holdings in Microsoft by 0.7% during the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 52,986,086 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $7,097,675,000 after buying an additional 342,648 shares during the period. Finally, Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. raised its holdings in Microsoft by 2.3% during the 2nd quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 34,368,268 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $4,603,974,000 after buying an additional 782,124 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.17% of the company’s stock.
In other news, CEO Satya Nadella sold 99,837 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $137.20, for a total transaction of $13,697,636.40. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 1,124,339 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $154,259,310.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Jean Philippe Courtois sold 11,345 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, October 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $145.06, for a total value of $1,645,705.70. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 611,855 shares in the company, valued at approximately $88,755,686.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 339,176 shares of company stock worth $46,660,857 in the last three months. Corporate insiders own 1.39% of the company’s stock.
MSFT stock opened at $144.19 on Tuesday. The company has a quick ratio of 2.50, a current ratio of 2.85 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69. The business’s fifty day simple moving average is $138.40 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $133.81. Microsoft Co. has a twelve month low of $93.96 and a twelve month high of $145.67. The firm has a market cap of $1,067.58 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.36, a PEG ratio of 2.23 and a beta of 1.22.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 23rd. The software giant reported $1.38 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.24 by $0.14. Microsoft had a return on equity of 39.14% and a net margin of 31.66%. The business had revenue of $33.06 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $32.24 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.14 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 13.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts expect that Microsoft Co. will post 5.33 EPS for the current year.
Microsoft declared that its board has initiated a share repurchase program on Wednesday, September 18th that permits the company to buyback $40.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the software giant to reacquire up to 3.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 12th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 21st will be given a dividend of $0.51 per share. This is an increase from Microsoft’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.46. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 20th. This represents a $2.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.41%. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio is presently 38.74%.
Several analysts recently weighed in on the company. Cowen assumed coverage on Microsoft in a report on Thursday, July 11th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $150.00 price target on the stock. BMO Capital Markets increased their price target on Microsoft from $160.00 to $165.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, October 24th. Wedbush restated an “outperform” rating and set a $170.00 price target (up previously from $160.00) on shares of Microsoft in a report on Thursday, October 24th. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $167.00 price target on Microsoft and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday. Finally, Evercore ISI set a $160.00 price target on Microsoft and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, October 18th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, thirty-one have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Microsoft currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $158.72.
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, 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.
Further Reading: Commodities
Receive News & Ratings for Microsoft Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Microsoft and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.