Gradient Investments LLC Reduces Position in Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Gradient Investments LLC cut its position in shares of Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFTGet Rating) by 7.5% in the second quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The firm owned 143,659 shares of the software giant’s stock after selling 11,686 shares during the quarter. Microsoft comprises approximately 1.1% of Gradient Investments LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 20th biggest position. Gradient Investments LLC’s holdings in Microsoft were worth $36,896,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Several other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in Microsoft by 0.9% in the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 621,598,157 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $191,644,927,000 after buying an additional 5,648,095 shares during the period. State Street Corp boosted its position in Microsoft by 2.8% in the 4th quarter. State Street Corp now owns 302,541,869 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $101,750,881,000 after buying an additional 8,108,943 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Microsoft by 2.4% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 129,107,118 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $43,313,705,000 after buying an additional 3,027,306 shares during the period. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in Microsoft in the 4th quarter valued at about $24,401,940,000. Finally, Nuveen Asset Management LLC boosted its position in Microsoft by 1.0% in the 4th quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 57,181,533 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $19,231,292,000 after buying an additional 584,273 shares during the period. 69.29% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

Several equities research analysts have issued reports on MSFT shares. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft lowered their price objective on shares of Microsoft from $350.00 to $330.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, July 27th. Redburn Partners started coverage on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Wednesday, June 29th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $370.00 price target for the company. BMO Capital Markets upped their price target on shares of Microsoft from $305.00 to $320.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 27th. Stifel Nicolaus lowered their price target on shares of Microsoft from $320.00 to $300.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, July 27th. Finally, Wolfe Research lowered their price target on shares of Microsoft from $320.00 to $275.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirty-one have issued a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat, the stock has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $334.31.

Microsoft Stock Down 1.4 %

NASDAQ:MSFT opened at $238.95 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.28, a current ratio of 1.78 and a quick ratio of 1.75. The company’s fifty day moving average price is $267.91 and its 200-day moving average price is $272.92. Microsoft Co. has a 1-year low of $238.90 and a 1-year high of $349.67. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.78 trillion, a P/E ratio of 24.79, a PEG ratio of 2.06 and a beta of 0.94.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFTGet Rating) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The software giant reported $2.23 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.28 by ($0.05). The company had revenue of $51.87 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $52.31 billion. Microsoft had a return on equity of 43.31% and a net margin of 36.69%. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $2.17 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Microsoft Co. will post 10.15 EPS for the current year.

Microsoft Increases Dividend

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 8th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 17th will be issued a $0.68 dividend. This represents a $2.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.14%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 16th. This is a boost from Microsoft’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.62. Microsoft’s payout ratio is 25.73%.

Insider Activity

In other news, CMO Christopher C. Capossela sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $266.25, for a total value of $1,331,250.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief marketing officer now owns 109,837 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $29,244,101.25. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

About Microsoft

(Get Rating)

Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports software, services, devices, and solutions worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Productivity and Business Processes, Intelligent Cloud, and More Personal Computing. The Productivity and Business Processes segment offers Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, Office 365 Security and Compliance, Microsoft Viva, and Skype for Business; Skype, Outlook.com, OneDrive, and LinkedIn; and Dynamics 365, a set of cloud-based and on-premises business solutions for organizations and enterprise divisions.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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