Traders sold shares of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) on strength during trading hours on Wednesday. $154.91 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $333.48 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $178.57 million out of the stock. Of all equities tracked, Microsoft Corp. had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Microsoft Corp. traded up $0.30 for the day and closed at $53.51

MSFT has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a report on Saturday, April 2nd. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $55.00 target price (up previously from $44.00) on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a report on Monday, March 28th. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a report on Sunday, March 20th. Vetr raised Microsoft Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $55.83 target price for the company in a report on Monday, March 21st. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein set a $67.00 target price on Microsoft Corp. and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, April 1st. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating, twenty-one have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $58.20.

The firm has a market capitalization of $420.61 billion and a P/E ratio of 41.26. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $51.36 and its 200-day moving average is $52.30.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 21st. The software giant reported $0.62 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.64 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $20.50 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $22.10 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.61 earnings per share. Microsoft Corp.’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Microsoft Corp. will post $2.67 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 8th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 18th will be given a $0.36 dividend. This represents a $1.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.69%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 16th.

In related news, EVP Kathleen T. Hogan sold 17,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.04, for a total value of $875,700.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 181,146 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,064,545.84. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director William H. Gates III sold 5,300,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, April 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.04, for a total transaction of $265,212,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 204,240,353 shares in the company, valued at $10,220,187,264.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Tiedemann Wealth Management LLC raised its stake in Microsoft Corp. by 8.4% in the fourth quarter. Tiedemann Wealth Management LLC now owns 18,711 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $1,038,000 after buying an additional 1,451 shares during the period. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. raised its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 1.3% in the fourth quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 20,358 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $1,129,000 after buying an additional 259 shares during the period. Security National Bank of SO Dak raised its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 6.2% in the fourth quarter. Security National Bank of SO Dak now owns 20,879 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $1,158,000 after buying an additional 1,225 shares during the period. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust raised its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 1.3% in the fourth quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 20,901 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $1,159,000 after buying an additional 264 shares during the period. Finally, Bourgeon Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. Bourgeon Capital Management LLC now owns 24,010 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $1,332,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the period.

Microsoft Corporation is engaged in developing, licensing and supporting a range of software products and services. The Company also designs and sells hardware, and delivers online advertising to the customers. The Company operates in five segments: Devices and Consumer (D&C) Licensing, D&C Hardware, D&C Other, Commercial Licensing, and Commercial Other.

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