Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC cut its stake in shares of Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 52.2% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 702,270 shares of the software giant’s stock after selling 767,066 shares during the quarter. Microsoft accounts for approximately 3.3% of Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 2nd biggest position. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC’s holdings in Microsoft were worth $69,251,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of MSFT. WP Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Microsoft during the second quarter worth $131,000. Live Your Vision LLC raised its position in Microsoft by 58.7% in the second quarter. Live Your Vision LLC now owns 1,376 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $140,000 after acquiring an additional 509 shares in the last quarter. CX Institutional purchased a new position in Microsoft in the second quarter worth $145,000. Spectrum Financial Alliance Ltd LLC purchased a new position in Microsoft in the first quarter worth $147,000. Finally, Ballew Advisors Inc purchased a new position in Microsoft in the first quarter worth $164,000. 71.85% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
MSFT has been the subject of several research analyst reports. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “$104.40” rating and issued a $115.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Thursday, July 19th. Deutsche Bank reiterated a “$105.12” rating on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Wednesday, July 18th. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “$105.12” rating and issued a $115.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Wednesday, July 18th. Argus increased their price objective on Microsoft from $116.00 to $128.00 and gave the stock a “$107.97” rating in a research report on Monday, July 23rd. Finally, Nomura set a $118.00 price objective on Microsoft and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 20th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating, thirty-three have given a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $121.88.
Shares of MSFT stock opened at $109.57 on Friday. Microsoft Co. has a fifty-two week low of $80.70 and a fifty-two week high of $116.18. The firm has a market capitalization of $860.45 billion, a PE ratio of 26.73, a PEG ratio of 2.04 and a beta of 1.26. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88, a current ratio of 2.92 and a quick ratio of 2.85.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 24th. The software giant reported $1.14 earnings per share for the quarter, beating 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 during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $27.92 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.84 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 18.5% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that Microsoft Co. will post 4.39 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 13th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 15th will be given a $0.46 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 14th. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.68%. This is a boost from Microsoft’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.42. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 43.30%.
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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