Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research
According to Zacks, “Microsoft is one of the largest software companies in the world. It is also one of the leading providers of cloud infrastructure and services. The business reorganization and “cloud-first mobile-first” focus are encouraging, but execution and FX risks remain. Additionally, competition is stiff and the company’s dominant position in the PC market continues to be challenged. Meanwhile, estimates have been stable lately ahead of the company's Q1 earnings release. The company has mixed record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. Moreover, enterprise strength, the Office 365 subscription model, Azure and promising new products will continue to generate sizeable cash flows with Windows 10 helping maintain consumer share this year and driving enterprise growth in 2016. Additionally, the expansion of Microsoft HoloLens in 6 new markets will improve the company's posiition in the augmented and virtual reality space.”
A number of other brokerages also recently commented on MSFT. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $68.00 price objective on Microsoft Corp. and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Friday, July 15th. Jefferies Group set a $40.00 price objective on Microsoft Corp. and gave the company a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 27th. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reiterated an outperform rating and set a $62.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research report on Friday, July 22nd. Argus reiterated a hold rating on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Finally, Independent Research GmbH set a $50.00 price objective on Microsoft Corp. and gave the company a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, July 21st. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and nineteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $59.60.
Shares of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) traded down 0.1984% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $57.5456. The stock had a trading volume of 3,200,559 shares. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $57.37 and a 200-day moving average price of $54.48. Microsoft Corp. has a 1-year low of $47.09 and a 1-year high of $58.70. The firm has a market cap of $448.42 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.4027 and a beta of 1.09.
The business also recently declared 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. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 15th. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.71%. This is a positive change from Microsoft Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. Microsoft Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 70.24%.
In other Microsoft Corp. news, insider G Mason Morfit sold 18,000,000 shares of Microsoft Corp. stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.12, for a total transaction of $1,010,160,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CFO Amy Hood sold 120,000 shares of Microsoft Corp. stock in a transaction on Monday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.86, for a total transaction of $6,943,200.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 523,425 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $30,285,370.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.76% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Invictus RG acquired a new stake in Microsoft Corp. during the first quarter worth approximately $107,000. Peddock Capital Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Microsoft Corp. during the third quarter valued at about $130,000. Riggs Asset Managment Co. Inc. raised its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 6.6% in the second quarter. Riggs Asset Managment Co. Inc. now owns 2,375 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 147 shares during the period. Roble Belko & Company Inc raised its position in shares of Microsoft Corp. by 9.0% in the second quarter. Roble Belko & Company Inc now owns 2,535 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $130,000 after buying an additional 210 shares during the period. Finally, Lowe fs LLC raised its position 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. 71.69% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Microsoft Corp. Company Profile
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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