Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) reached a new 52-week high during trading on Friday . The stock traded as high as $58.70 and last traded at $57.93, with a volume of 10,269,913 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $58.17.

Several research firms have recently commented on MSFT. Vetr downgraded Microsoft Corp. from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $55.65 price objective for the company. in a report on Tuesday, May 3rd. Bank of America Corp. restated a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 price target (up previously from $57.86) on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research note on Monday, May 2nd. BMO Capital Markets restated a “buy” rating and issued a $57.00 price target on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research note on Sunday, July 17th. Nomura restated a “buy” rating on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research note on Sunday, July 17th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein set a $69.00 price target on Microsoft Corp. and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 21st. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and twenty have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $59.18.

The company’s 50 day moving average is $56.42 and its 200-day moving average is $53.23. The stock has a market capitalization of $452.20 billion and a PE ratio of 27.63.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 19th. The software giant reported $0.69 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.58 by $0.11. The firm earned $22.60 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $22.15 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.60 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Microsoft Corp. will post $2.89 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 8th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.36 per share. This represents a $1.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.48%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 16th.

In related news, Director William H. Gates III sold 2,500,000 shares of the 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 sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Satya Nadella sold 143,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.97, for a total value of $8,289,710.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 1,200,822 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $69,611,651.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of large investors recently modified their holdings of MSFT. First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. boosted its stake in shares of 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 in the last quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department boosted its stake in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 11.6% in the fourth quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department now owns 4,656,454 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $258,339,000 after buying an additional 482,291 shares in the last quarter. Madison Investment Holdings Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 40.6% in the fourth quarter. Madison Investment Holdings Inc. now owns 1,221,307 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $67,758,000 after buying an additional 352,773 shares in the last quarter. Pettyjohn Wood & White Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 6.9% in the fourth quarter. Pettyjohn Wood & White Inc. now owns 109,366 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $6,068,000 after buying an additional 7,026 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Westfield Capital Management Co. LP boosted its stake in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 1,766.5% in the fourth quarter. Westfield Capital Management Co. LP now owns 3,277,480 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $181,835,000 after buying an additional 3,101,887 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.

Get Analysts' Upgrades and Downgrades Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of analysts' upgrades, downgrades and new coverage with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.