Brokerages Expect Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) to Announce $1.32 EPS

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Analysts forecast that Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) will post earnings of $1.32 per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Ten analysts have issued estimates for Microsoft’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $1.30 to $1.35. Microsoft posted earnings per share of $1.10 during the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year over year growth rate of 20%. The business is scheduled to issue its next earnings report on Wednesday, January 29th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Microsoft will report full-year earnings of $5.35 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.23 to $5.61. For the next fiscal year, analysts forecast that the firm will report earnings of $6.01 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.59 to $6.35. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS averages are an average based on a survey of research firms that that provide coverage for Microsoft.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 23rd. The software giant reported $1.38 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.14. Microsoft had a return on equity of 39.14% and a net margin of 31.66%. The firm had revenue of $33.06 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.24 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.14 EPS. Microsoft’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.7% on a year-over-year basis.

Several research analysts have recently issued reports on MSFT shares. Evercore ISI set a $160.00 price objective on Microsoft and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, October 18th. Mizuho reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $160.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Wednesday, November 20th. Wedbush reaffirmed an “outperform” rating on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Friday, November 15th. Zacks Investment Research raised Microsoft from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $147.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Friday, October 25th. Finally, Barclays set a $168.00 price objective on Microsoft and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, November 1st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, thirty have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the stock. Microsoft currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $159.69.

Shares of NASDAQ:MSFT traded up $0.02 on Friday, hitting $151.38. 8,752,949 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 18,907,972. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $146.75 and its 200 day moving average is $138.45. The company has a market capitalization of $1,155.61 billion, a PE ratio of 31.87, a P/E/G ratio of 2.38 and a beta of 1.23. Microsoft has a 1-year low of $93.96 and a 1-year high of $152.50. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69, a quick ratio of 2.81 and a current ratio of 2.85.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 12th. Investors of record on Thursday, February 20th will be given a $0.51 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 19th. This represents a $2.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.35%. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 42.95%.

Microsoft announced that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, September 18th that authorizes the company to buyback $40.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the software giant to purchase up to 3.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Microsoft news, CMO Christopher C. Capossela sold 2,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $142.89, for a total transaction of $357,225.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief marketing officer now directly owns 133,944 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $19,139,258.16. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Jean Philippe Courtois sold 13,074 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $141.00, for a total value of $1,843,434.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 611,855 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $86,271,555. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 31,919 shares of company stock valued at $4,567,440. 1.39% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of MSFT. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA increased its stake in Microsoft by 274.5% in the 2nd quarter. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA now owns 191 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $26,000 after purchasing an additional 140 shares in the last quarter. Krane Funds Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Microsoft in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $26,000. Selective Wealth Management Inc. purchased a new position in Microsoft in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $36,000. Atwater Malick LLC purchased a new position in Microsoft in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $37,000. Finally, AlphaOne Investment Services LLC acquired a new stake in Microsoft during the 2nd quarter valued at $51,000. 71.82% of the stock is 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, 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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