Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL lowered its stake in shares of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 5.5% during the third quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 1,733,900 shares of the software giant’s stock after selling 100,000 shares during the period. Microsoft Corporation accounts for approximately 1.4% of Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL’s portfolio, making the stock its 4th largest position. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL’s holdings in Microsoft Corporation were worth $99,873,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Somerset Trust Co boosted its stake in Microsoft Corporation by 26.0% in the second quarter. Somerset Trust Co now owns 84,397 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $4,317,000 after buying an additional 17,434 shares during the last quarter. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. boosted its stake in Microsoft Corporation by 2.7% in the second quarter. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. now owns 6,886,082 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $352,360,000 after buying an additional 180,220 shares during the last quarter. Randolph Co Inc boosted its stake in Microsoft Corporation by 0.8% in the second quarter. Randolph Co Inc now owns 339,388 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $17,366,000 after buying an additional 2,850 shares during the last quarter. Naples Global Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Microsoft Corporation by 2.3% in the second quarter. Naples Global Advisors LLC now owns 61,186 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $3,131,000 after buying an additional 1,360 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ronna Sue Cohen boosted its stake in Microsoft Corporation by 0.6% in the second quarter. Ronna Sue Cohen now owns 17,402 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $890,000 after buying an additional 112 shares during the last quarter. 70.72% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Shares of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) opened at 62.70 on Friday. Microsoft Corporation has a 52-week low of $48.03 and a 52-week high of $64.10. The company has a market cap of $487.51 billion, a PE ratio of 30.03 and a beta of 1.13. The company’s 50-day moving average is $61.81 and its 200 day moving average is $57.95.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 20th. The software giant reported $0.76 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.08. Microsoft Corporation had a return on equity of 30.92% and a net margin of 19.40%. The business had revenue of $22.30 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $21.71 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.67 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that Microsoft Corporation will post $2.98 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 9th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, February 16th will be paid a dividend of $0.39 per share. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.49%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, February 14th. Microsoft Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 75.00%.

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Several equities research analysts have weighed in on MSFT shares. Jefferies Group set a $40.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft Corporation and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 27th. Wells Fargo & Company started coverage on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research report on Wednesday. They issued an “outperform” rating for the company. Vetr upgraded shares of Microsoft Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.17 price objective for the company in a research report on Wednesday, October 26th. Cowen and Company restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $60.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research report on Friday, September 30th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) upgraded shares of Microsoft Corporation from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $60.00 to $68.00 in a research report on Sunday, December 4th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and twenty-five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $63.68.

In other news, CMO Christopher C. Capossela sold 12,000 shares of Microsoft Corporation stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.51, for a total transaction of $726,120.00. Following the sale, the chief marketing officer now directly owns 253,306 shares in the company, valued at approximately $15,327,546.06. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director William H. Gates III sold 2,000,000 shares of Microsoft Corporation stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.78, for a total value of $121,560,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 2.99% of the company’s stock.

About Microsoft Corporation

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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