Richard Bernstein Advisors LLC reduced its holdings in shares of Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 2.2% in the 2nd quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The fund owned 294,318 shares of the software giant’s stock after selling 6,666 shares during the period. Microsoft makes up approximately 0.9% of Richard Bernstein Advisors LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 18th largest position. Richard Bernstein Advisors LLC’s holdings in Microsoft were worth $29,023,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA grew its stake in shares of Microsoft by 12.0% during the 2nd quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 31,168,526 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $3,073,529,000 after acquiring an additional 3,328,581 shares in the last quarter. Swiss National Bank grew its stake in shares of Microsoft by 2.8% during the 2nd quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 24,451,870 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $2,411,199,000 after acquiring an additional 673,300 shares in the last quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. grew its stake in shares of Microsoft by 6.4% in the second quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 23,297,776 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $2,297,394,000 after buying an additional 1,398,077 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its stake in shares of Microsoft by 7.6% in the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 20,956,647 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $1,912,713,000 after buying an additional 1,473,682 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Fisher Asset Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Microsoft by 4.1% in the second quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 18,324,544 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $1,806,983,000 after buying an additional 726,904 shares in the last quarter. 71.90% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

In other news, CEO Satya Nadella sold 203,418 shares of Microsoft stock in a transaction on Friday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $106.68, for a total transaction of $21,700,632.24. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 1,014,247 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $108,199,869.96. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Christopher C. Capossela sold 4,000 shares of Microsoft stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.00, for a total value of $432,000.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 173,931 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $18,784,548. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 299,255 shares of company stock valued at $32,229,279 in the last three months. Insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

MSFT opened at $104.82 on Friday. Microsoft Co. has a fifty-two week low of $83.33 and a fifty-two week high of $116.18. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88, a current ratio of 2.92 and a quick ratio of 2.85. The firm has a market cap of $840.74 billion, a PE ratio of 26.12, a PEG ratio of 1.98 and a beta of 1.25.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, October 24th. The software giant reported $1.14 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.18. Microsoft had a return on equity of 39.86% and a net margin of 16.38%. The company had revenue of $29.08 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $27.92 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.84 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 18.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Microsoft Co. will post 4.43 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, February 21st will be issued a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.76%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 20th. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio is currently 47.42%.

Several equities analysts recently weighed in on MSFT shares. Jefferies Financial Group reissued a “sell” rating and issued a $75.00 target price on shares of Microsoft in a research note on Monday, November 19th. Barclays raised their target price on shares of Microsoft from $117.00 to $120.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, September 7th. Oppenheimer set a $127.00 target price on shares of Microsoft and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, October 1st. Credit Suisse Group set a $125.00 target price on shares of Microsoft and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 2nd. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $130.00 target price on shares of Microsoft in a research note on Thursday, September 27th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating, thirty-three have given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $121.88.

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Microsoft Profile

Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports software, services, devices, and solutions worldwide. Its company's Productivity and Business Processes segment offers Office 365 commercial products and services for businesses, such as Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, and related Client Access Licenses (CALs); Office 365 consumer services, including Skype, Outlook.com, and OneDrive; LinkedIn online professional network; and Dynamics business solutions comprising financial management, enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, supply chain management, and analytics applications for small and medium businesses, large organizations, and divisions of enterprises.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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