Emerald Mutual Fund Advisers Trust increased its stake in shares of Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT – Get Rating) by 1.7% in the third quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 6,953 shares of the software giant’s stock after purchasing an additional 113 shares during the quarter. Emerald Mutual Fund Advisers Trust’s holdings in Microsoft were worth $1,619,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in MSFT. Aaron Wealth Advisors LLC lifted its stake in shares of Microsoft by 35,465.9% during the 1st quarter. Aaron Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 20,611,140 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $66,852,000 after purchasing an additional 20,553,188 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Microsoft by 0.9% during 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 in the last quarter. Bishop Rock Capital L.P. increased its position in Microsoft by 11,434.2% during the 2nd quarter. Bishop Rock Capital L.P. now owns 5,460,976 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $21,263,000 after buying an additional 5,413,630 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC acquired a new position in Microsoft during the 2nd quarter valued at about $981,125,000. Finally, Swiss National Bank increased its position in Microsoft by 13.8% during the 1st quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 30,893,155 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $9,524,669,000 after buying an additional 3,757,500 shares in the last quarter. 69.15% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Insider Activity at Microsoft
In related news, EVP Judson Althoff sold 24,144 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 1st. The stock was 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 of the company’s stock, valued at $38,152,450.69. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Insiders own 0.03% of the company’s stock.
Microsoft Stock Performance
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT – Get Rating) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, January 24th. The software giant reported $2.32 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.30 by $0.02. Microsoft had a return on equity of 42.10% and a net margin of 34.37%. The business had revenue of $52.75 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $53.17 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $2.48 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Microsoft Co. will post 9.51 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Microsoft Announces Dividend
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 9th. Investors of record on Wednesday, February 15th will be issued a $0.68 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 15th. This represents a $2.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.12%. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio is presently 29.31%.
Analyst Ratings Changes
Several research analysts recently issued reports on MSFT shares. Wedbush reduced their target price on Microsoft from $320.00 to $290.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, October 26th. Barclays cut their price objective on Microsoft from $296.00 to $280.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, January 10th. Fundamental Research cut their price objective on Microsoft to $270.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, November 8th. Jefferies Financial Group set a $270.00 price objective on Microsoft in a report on Thursday, January 5th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets cut their price objective on Microsoft from $270.00 to $267.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Monday. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and twenty-nine have given a buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat, Microsoft has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus price target of $287.79.
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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