Eagle Asset Management Inc. Sells 272,949 Shares of Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Eagle Asset Management Inc. lessened its holdings in shares of Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 18.7% in the third quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 1,187,581 shares of the software giant’s stock after selling 272,949 shares during the quarter. Microsoft accounts for approximately 0.9% of Eagle Asset Management Inc.’s portfolio, making the stock its 12th largest position. Eagle Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in Microsoft were worth $165,109,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in the company. New England Private Wealth Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 0.7% in the 2nd quarter. New England Private Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 10,520 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $1,408,000 after buying an additional 72 shares during the last quarter. Orgel Wealth Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter. Orgel Wealth Management LLC now owns 6,492 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $870,000 after buying an additional 74 shares during the last quarter. Planning Directions Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 3.2% in the 2nd quarter. Planning Directions Inc. now owns 2,418 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $324,000 after buying an additional 74 shares during the last quarter. Addison Capital Co boosted its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 0.6% in the 3rd quarter. Addison Capital Co now owns 13,332 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $1,854,000 after buying an additional 74 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Weybosset Research & Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 2.1% in the 2nd quarter. Weybosset Research & Management LLC now owns 3,625 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $486,000 after buying an additional 75 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.17% of the company’s stock.

Shares of MSFT opened at $150.34 on Tuesday. The business’s 50-day moving average price is $141.57 and its 200-day moving average price is $135.97. Microsoft Co. has a twelve month low of $93.96 and a twelve month high of $150.55. The stock has a market cap of $1,129.52 billion, a PE ratio of 31.65, a P/E/G ratio of 2.33 and a beta of 1.23. The company has a quick ratio of 2.81, a current ratio of 2.85 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 23rd. The software giant reported $1.38 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.14. Microsoft had a return on equity of 39.14% and a net margin of 31.66%. The firm had revenue of $33.06 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.24 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.14 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 13.7% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Microsoft Co. will post 5.35 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business 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. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 20th. This is a boost from Microsoft’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.46. This represents a $2.04 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.36%. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio is currently 38.74%.

Microsoft declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback program on Wednesday, September 18th that authorizes the company to repurchase $40.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the software giant to repurchase up to 3.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

A number of equities analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $160.00 price target on shares of Microsoft in a report on Monday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Microsoft from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $147.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Friday, October 25th. BMO Capital Markets boosted their price objective on Microsoft from $160.00 to $165.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 24th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a “buy” rating and issued a $169.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft in a research note on Thursday, October 24th. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on Microsoft from $155.00 to $157.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 24th. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, thirty have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Microsoft presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $159.45.

In other news, CMO Christopher C. Capossela sold 2,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $142.89, for a total transaction of $357,225.00. Following the sale, the chief marketing officer now directly owns 133,944 shares in the company, valued at $19,139,258.16. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CFO Amy Hood sold 123,769 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $137.26, for a total value of $16,988,532.94. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 433,940 shares in the company, valued at $59,562,604.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 332,804 shares of company stock worth $45,823,569. Company insiders own 1.39% of the company’s stock.

About Microsoft

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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