Chicago Equity Partners LLC lessened its holdings in Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 13.5% during the third quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 306,747 shares of the software giant’s stock after selling 47,920 shares during the period. Microsoft makes up approximately 2.0% of Chicago Equity Partners LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its biggest holding. Chicago Equity Partners LLC’s holdings in Microsoft were worth $42,647,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Gables Capital Management Inc. lifted its stake in Microsoft by 23.4% in the third quarter. Gables Capital Management Inc. now owns 14,937 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $2,078,000 after purchasing an additional 2,830 shares during the last quarter. Glaxis Capital Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Microsoft by 69.0% during the third quarter. Glaxis Capital Management LLC now owns 25,354 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $3,525,000 after acquiring an additional 10,354 shares in the last quarter. Van Hulzen Asset Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Microsoft by 21.2% during the third quarter. Van Hulzen Asset Management LLC now owns 38,099 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $5,297,000 after acquiring an additional 6,659 shares in the last quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Microsoft by 6.2% during the third quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC now owns 27,786 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $3,863,000 after acquiring an additional 1,629 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Grove Bank & Trust lifted its position in shares of Microsoft by 20.8% during the third quarter. Grove Bank & Trust now owns 24,748 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $3,441,000 after acquiring an additional 4,258 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.20% of the company’s stock.
Several equities research analysts have issued reports on MSFT shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Microsoft from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $147.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Friday, October 25th. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on Microsoft from $155.00 to $157.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 24th. Macquarie increased their target price on Microsoft from $150.00 to $160.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, July 19th. Argus increased their target price on Microsoft to $158.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 25th. Finally, Wedbush restated an “outperform” rating and set a $170.00 target price (up previously from $160.00) on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Thursday, October 24th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, thirty-one have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $159.45.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 23rd. The software giant reported $1.38 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.14. The firm had revenue of $33.06 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.24 billion. Microsoft had a net margin of 31.66% and a return on equity of 39.14%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 13.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.14 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts predict that Microsoft Co. will post 5.35 earnings per share for the current year.
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 issued a $0.51 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 20th. This represents a $2.04 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.40%. This is a boost from Microsoft’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.46. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio is presently 38.74%.
Microsoft declared that its board has approved a share buyback plan on Wednesday, September 18th that permits the company to repurchase $40.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the software giant to reacquire up to 3.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
In related news, CAO Frank H. Brod sold 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $137.17, for a total value of $548,680.00. Following the transaction, the chief accounting officer now owns 54,306 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,449,154.02. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CMO Christopher C. Capossela sold 2,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $144.01, for a total value of $360,025.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief marketing officer now directly owns 118,944 shares in the company, valued at approximately $17,129,125.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 339,804 shares of company stock worth $46,790,619. Insiders own 1.39% of the company’s stock.
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.
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