Eads & Heald Investment Counsel raised its stake in Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 0.1% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 29,151 shares of the software giant’s stock after buying an additional 22 shares during the period. Eads & Heald Investment Counsel’s holdings in Microsoft Corp. were worth $1,492,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the company. Northstar Group Inc. raised its stake in Microsoft Corp. by 0.4% in the second quarter. Northstar Group Inc. now owns 3,953 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $202,000 after buying an additional 14 shares in the last quarter. McQueen Ball & Associates Inc. raised its stake in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 0.3% in the first quarter. McQueen Ball & Associates Inc. now owns 8,429 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $466,000 after buying an additional 25 shares during the period. Palisade Capital Management LLC NJ raised its stake in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 0.4% in the first quarter. Palisade Capital Management LLC NJ now owns 6,744 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $372,000 after buying an additional 27 shares during the period. Lowe fs LLC raised its stake in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 1.4% in the second quarter. Lowe fs LLC now owns 3,206 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $164,000 after buying an additional 44 shares during the period. Finally, First United Bank Trust raised its stake in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 0.6% in the second quarter. First United Bank Trust now owns 7,931 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $406,000 after buying an additional 50 shares during the period. 71.58% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) traded up 1.67% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $57.76. 33,706,492 shares of the company were exchanged. The company has a market capitalization of $450.10 billion, a PE ratio of 27.50 and a beta of 1.08. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $57.52 and its 200-day moving average is $53.93. Microsoft Corp. has a 52-week low of $43.05 and a 52-week high of $58.70.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, July 19th. The software giant reported $0.69 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.11. Microsoft Corp. had a return on equity of 29.38% and a net margin of 19.33%. The firm earned $22.60 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $22.15 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.60 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that Microsoft Corp. will post $2.90 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 8th. Investors of record on Thursday, November 17th will be issued a $0.39 dividend. This is a positive change from Microsoft Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.70%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 15th. Microsoft Corp.’s payout ratio is 70.24%.

Several brokerages have recently issued reports on MSFT. Vetr upgraded shares of Microsoft Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $57.13 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, June 14th. Royal Bank Of Canada lifted their target price on shares of Microsoft Corp. from $57.00 to $65.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 1st. Citigroup Inc. reiterated a “sell” rating and issued a $36.00 target price on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research report on Tuesday, June 14th. Cowen and Company upgraded shares of Microsoft Corp. from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $58.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, May 24th. Finally, Barclays PLC lifted their target price on shares of Microsoft Corp. from $54.00 to $60.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 1st. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and twenty-one have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Microsoft Corp. currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $59.25.

In other news, CEO Satya Nadella sold 143,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.97, for a total transaction of $8,289,710.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,200,822 shares in the company, valued at $69,611,651.34. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CFO Amy Hood sold 120,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.86, for a total value of $6,943,200.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 523,425 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $30,285,370.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.76% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

About Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft Corporation is a technology company. The Company develops, licenses and supports a range of software products, services and devices. Its segments are Productivity and Business Processes, Intelligent Cloud, and More Personal Computing. Its products include operating systems; cross-device productivity applications; server applications; business solution applications; desktop and server management tools; software development tools; video games, and training and certification of computer system integrators and developers.

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