Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) Position Trimmed by Scharf Investments LLC

Scharf Investments LLC lessened its holdings in Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFTGet Rating) by 20.0% during the third quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The firm owned 661,134 shares of the software giant’s stock after selling 165,206 shares during the quarter. Microsoft comprises about 5.8% of Scharf Investments LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 5th largest holding. Scharf Investments LLC’s holdings in Microsoft were worth $153,978,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Monumental Financial Group Inc. bought a new position in Microsoft during the first quarter valued at approximately $28,000. Newfound Research LLC lifted its position in Microsoft by 25.4% during the second quarter. Newfound Research LLC now owns 296 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $76,000 after purchasing an additional 60 shares during the period. Darrow Company Inc. bought a new position in Microsoft during the second quarter valued at approximately $82,000. Morgan Dempsey Capital Management LLC bought a new position in Microsoft during the third quarter valued at approximately $82,000. Finally, Avondale Wealth Management lifted its position in Microsoft by 58.6% during the third quarter. Avondale Wealth Management now owns 406 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $95,000 after purchasing an additional 150 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 69.15% of the company’s stock.

Microsoft Price Performance

Microsoft stock opened at $240.22 on Friday. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $241.70 and a 200-day moving average price of $250.01. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.79 trillion, a PE ratio of 25.89, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.35 and a beta of 0.94. The company has a current ratio of 1.84, a quick ratio of 1.79 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.26. Microsoft Co. has a 12-month low of $213.43 and a 12-month high of $315.95.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFTGet Rating) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, October 25th. The software giant reported $2.35 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.29 by $0.06. Microsoft had a net margin of 34.37% and a return on equity of 42.10%. The firm had revenue of $50.12 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $49.70 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $2.27 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 10.6% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Microsoft Co. will post 9.52 EPS for the current year.

Microsoft Dividend Announcement

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 9th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, February 16th will be issued a $0.68 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 15th. This represents a $2.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.13%. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio is currently 29.31%.

Insider Activity

In other news, EVP Judson Althoff sold 24,144 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $254.27, for a total value of $6,139,094.88. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 150,047 shares in the company, valued at approximately $38,152,450.69. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.03% of the company’s stock.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

A number of research analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Cowen lowered their price objective on shares of Microsoft from $285.00 to $280.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday. JPMorgan Chase & Co. decreased their price target on shares of Microsoft from $305.00 to $275.00 in a research report on Wednesday, October 26th. Mizuho decreased their price target on shares of Microsoft from $305.00 to $290.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday. The Goldman Sachs Group set a $315.00 price target on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Tuesday, January 17th. Finally, Morgan Stanley decreased their price target on shares of Microsoft from $325.00 to $307.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, October 26th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and twenty-nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat.com, Microsoft presently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $287.88.

About Microsoft

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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.

See Also

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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