Microsoft’s (MSFT) Buy Rating Reaffirmed at Stifel Nicolaus

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Stifel Nicolaus restated their buy rating on shares of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) in a research note published on Thursday, October 25th. They currently have a $120.00 price objective on the software giant’s stock.

A number of other analysts have also recently commented on MSFT. Credit Suisse Group set a $125.00 target price on shares of Microsoft and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, July 20th. Nomura set a $118.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, July 20th. Atlantic Securities set a $130.00 target price on shares of Microsoft and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Friday, July 20th. Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated a buy rating and issued a $123.00 target price on shares of Microsoft in a report on Tuesday, July 3rd. Finally, KeyCorp boosted their target price on shares of Microsoft from $110.00 to $123.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Friday, July 20th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating, thirty-three have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $121.88.

NASDAQ MSFT opened at $108.29 on Thursday. Microsoft has a 1 year low of $80.70 and a 1 year 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 $833.81 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.91, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.97 and a beta of 1.26.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 24th. The software giant reported $1.14 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.96 by $0.18. The company had revenue of $29.08 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $27.92 billion. Microsoft had a net margin of 16.38% and a return on equity of 39.86%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 18.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.84 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Microsoft will post 4.4 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company 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 $0.46 dividend. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.70%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 14th. This is a boost from Microsoft’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.42. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 47.42%.

In other news, insider Frank H. Brod sold 2,000 shares of Microsoft stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.18, for a total transaction of $214,360.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 64,676 shares in the company, valued at $6,931,973.68. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CFO Amy Hood sold 118,000 shares of Microsoft stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $110.90, for a total transaction of $13,086,200.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 669,327 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $74,228,364.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 479,080 shares of company stock valued at $52,100,893 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Microsoft by 1.4% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 506,636,253 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $49,959,403,000 after buying an additional 6,786,483 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its stake in Microsoft by 4.5% during the third quarter. FMR LLC now owns 242,245,441 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $27,705,612,000 after purchasing an additional 10,469,307 shares during the last quarter. Capital Research Global Investors increased its stake in Microsoft by 5.5% during the third quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 108,974,371 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $12,463,399,000 after purchasing an additional 5,647,817 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp increased its stake in Microsoft by 0.3% during 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 purchasing an additional 258,761 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Capital International Investors increased its stake in Microsoft by 223.7% during the third quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 91,785,039 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $10,497,455,000 after purchasing an additional 63,428,306 shares during the last quarter. 71.85% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Microsoft

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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