Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) – Equities researchers at Oppenheimer upped their Q1 2019 earnings estimates for Microsoft in a report released on Monday, September 17th, according to Zacks Investment Research. Oppenheimer analyst T. Horan now expects that the software giant will earn $1.01 per share for the quarter, up from their previous forecast of $0.99. Oppenheimer has a “Buy” rating and a $127.00 price objective on the stock. Oppenheimer also issued estimates for Microsoft’s Q4 2019 earnings at $1.26 EPS and FY2020 earnings at $4.97 EPS.
Several other analysts also recently issued reports on MSFT. Jefferies Financial Group set a $75.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, June 18th. Atlantic Securities raised shares of Microsoft from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, June 25th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Microsoft from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 26th. Sanford C. Bernstein reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $123.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Tuesday, July 3rd. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $130.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 9th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating, thirty-one have assigned a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $120.60.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 19th. The software giant reported $1.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $30.09 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $29.23 billion. Microsoft had a net margin of 15.02% and a return on equity of 36.69%. The company’s revenue was up 17.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.75 EPS.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in MSFT. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in Microsoft by 1.4% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 506,636,253 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $49,959,403,000 after buying an additional 6,786,483 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC lifted its stake in Microsoft by 2.4% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 231,776,134 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $22,855,445,000 after buying an additional 5,367,919 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp lifted its stake in Microsoft by 0.3% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 93,397,574 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $9,209,934,000 after buying an additional 258,761 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley lifted its stake in Microsoft by 3.6% in the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 58,069,024 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $5,726,188,000 after buying an additional 2,007,248 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its stake in Microsoft by 1.2% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 48,317,706 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $4,764,670,000 after buying an additional 592,272 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 71.80% of the company’s stock.
In related news, EVP Margaret L. Johnson sold 47,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $107.67, for a total transaction of $5,060,490.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 109,687 shares in the company, valued at $11,809,999.29. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Kathleen T. Hogan sold 40,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $111.31, for a total value of $4,452,400.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 339,972 shares in the company, valued at $37,842,283.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 650,042 shares of company stock valued at $71,264,850. Company insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 13th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.46 per share. This is a boost from Microsoft’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.42. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.68%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 14th. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio is 43.30%.
Microsoft Company 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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