Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) reached a new 52-week high during trading on Monday . The company traded as high as $58.50 and last traded at $58.49, with a volume of 8,324,236 shares. The stock had previously closed at $57.94.

A number of equities research analysts have recently commented on MSFT shares. Cowen and Company raised Microsoft Corp. from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $58.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, May 24th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. set a $55.00 target price on Microsoft Corp. and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 29th. Citigroup Inc. increased their target price on Microsoft Corp. from $36.00 to $37.00 and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 7th. Nomura reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $36.00 target price (up from $35.00) on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research note on Tuesday, April 19th. Finally, Vetr raised Microsoft Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $56.87 target price on the stock in a research note on Monday, April 25th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and twenty-one have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $58.88.

The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $54.50 and its 200 day moving average price is $52.83. The stock has a market capitalization of $454.54 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.78.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 19th. The software giant reported $0.69 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.11. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.60 EPS. The company earned $22.60 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $22.15 billion. On average, equities research analysts predict that Microsoft Corp. will post $2.89 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 8th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 18th will be issued a $0.36 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 16th. This represents a $1.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.49%.

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

Other hedge funds and institutional investors have modified their holdings of the company. Goelzer Investment Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 3.6% in the fourth quarter. Goelzer Investment Management Inc. now owns 163,758 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $9,085,000 after buying an additional 5,737 shares during the last quarter. Coronation Asset Management Pty Ltd. raised its position in Microsoft Corp. by 86.6% in the fourth quarter. Coronation Asset Management Pty Ltd. now owns 170,923 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $9,483,000 after buying an additional 79,343 shares in the last quarter. High Pointe Capital Management LLC raised its position in Microsoft Corp. by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. High Pointe Capital Management LLC now owns 43,621 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $2,420,000 after buying an additional 120 shares in the last quarter. State Treasurer State of Michigan raised its position in Microsoft Corp. by 16.4% in the fourth quarter. State Treasurer State of Michigan now owns 4,385,969 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $243,334,000 after buying an additional 617,445 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Numeric Investors LLC raised its position in Microsoft Corp. by 1.7% in the fourth quarter. Numeric Investors LLC now owns 3,145,170 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $174,494,000 after buying an additional 52,065 shares in the last quarter.

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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