Shares of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) hit a new 52-week high on Tuesday . The stock traded as high as $57.29 and last traded at $57.00, with a volume of 16,077,636 shares. The stock had previously closed at $56.73.

Several equities analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $62.00 target price on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research report on Friday. Argus reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research report on Monday. Morgan Stanley reissued an “overweight” rating and set a $64.00 target price (down from $66.00) on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research report on Monday, April 18th. Nomura Holdings Inc. reissued a “buy” rating and set a $36.00 target price (up from $35.00) on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research report on Tuesday, April 19th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. increased their target price on shares of Microsoft Corp. from $37.00 to $40.00 and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 20th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and twenty-two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $59.07.

The company has a 50-day moving average of $51.98 and a 200-day moving average of $52.29. The company has a market cap of $443.57 billion and a P/E ratio of 27.05.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 19th. The software giant reported $0.69 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $22.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $22.15 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.60 earnings per share. On average, analysts forecast that Microsoft Corp. will post $2.90 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 8th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 18th will be paid a dividend of $0.36 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 16th. This represents a $1.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.54%.

In related news, Director William H. Gates III sold 2,500,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.94, for a total transaction of $139,850,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CMO Christopher C. Capossela sold 6,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.31, for a total value of $301,860.00. Following the transaction, the chief marketing officer now directly owns 278,549 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $14,013,800.19. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several institutional investors have bought and sold shares of the company. Rothschild Capital Partners LLC purchased a new position in Microsoft Corp. during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $3,440,000. Cambridge Trust Co. boosted its position in Microsoft Corp. by 1.6% in the fourth quarter. Cambridge Trust Co. now owns 498,222 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $27,641,000 after buying an additional 7,628 shares during the period. Hanseatic Management Services Inc. purchased a new position in Microsoft Corp. during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $4,063,000. Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc. boosted its position in Microsoft Corp. by 5.3% in the fourth quarter. Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 94,436 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $5,240,000 after buying an additional 4,755 shares during the period. Finally, First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. boosted its position in Microsoft Corp. by 10.8% in the fourth quarter. First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. now owns 516,548 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $28,658,000 after buying an additional 50,364 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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