Kesler Norman & Wride LLC lowered its stake in shares of Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT – Get Rating) by 5.3% in the second quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 36,538 shares of the software giant’s stock after selling 2,060 shares during the quarter. Microsoft makes up approximately 2.6% of Kesler Norman & Wride LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 3rd largest holding. Kesler Norman & Wride LLC’s holdings in Microsoft were worth $9,384,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Financial Advisors Network Inc. boosted its position in Microsoft by 1.1% during the 2nd quarter. Financial Advisors Network Inc. now owns 3,482 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $894,000 after purchasing an additional 39 shares during the period. Quilter Plc boosted its position in Microsoft by 0.8% during the 2nd quarter. Quilter Plc now owns 823,343 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $211,459,000 after acquiring an additional 6,304 shares during the period. Fluent Financial LLC boosted its position in Microsoft by 2.6% during the 2nd quarter. Fluent Financial LLC now owns 11,307 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $2,904,000 after acquiring an additional 289 shares during the period. Wilbanks Smith & Thomas Asset Management LLC boosted its position in Microsoft by 2.9% during the 2nd quarter. Wilbanks Smith & Thomas Asset Management LLC now owns 138,636 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $35,606,000 after acquiring an additional 3,909 shares during the period. Finally, Thoroughbred Financial Services LLC boosted its position in Microsoft by 3.4% during the 2nd quarter. Thoroughbred Financial Services LLC now owns 95,690 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $24,576,000 after acquiring an additional 3,106 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 69.29% of the company’s stock.
Insider Buying and Selling at Microsoft
In other Microsoft news, CMO Christopher C. Capossela sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.03% of the company’s stock.
Microsoft Price Performance
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT – Get Rating) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 25th. The software giant reported $2.35 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.30 by $0.05. Microsoft had a return on equity of 42.10% and a net margin of 34.37%. The firm had revenue of $50.12 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $49.70 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $2.27 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Research analysts predict that Microsoft Co. will post 9.62 earnings per share for the current year.
Microsoft Increases Dividend
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 8th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 17th will be issued a $0.68 dividend. This is a boost from Microsoft’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.62. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 16th. This represents a $2.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.11%. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio is 29.31%.
Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth
MSFT has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Raymond James reduced their price target on Microsoft from $300.00 to $280.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, October 26th. Cowen cut their price objective on Microsoft from $310.00 to $285.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, October 26th. Evercore ISI cut their price objective on Microsoft from $330.00 to $300.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, October 26th. Moffett Nathanson assumed coverage on Microsoft in a report on Thursday, September 22nd. They issued a “hold” rating and a $285.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Itau BBA Securities assumed coverage on Microsoft in a report on Tuesday, July 26th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $287.00 price objective for the company. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirty-one have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat, Microsoft presently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $300.64.
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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