Alliancebernstein L.P. trimmed its holdings in shares of Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 0.6% during the 1st quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 46,244,722 shares of the software giant’s stock after selling 295,071 shares during the period. Microsoft comprises 4.8% of Alliancebernstein L.P.’s holdings, making the stock its largest holding. Alliancebernstein L.P.’s holdings in Microsoft were worth $10,903,118,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of Microsoft in the 4th quarter valued at about $17,697,996,000. Morgan Stanley lifted its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 14.7% in the 4th quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 69,099,798 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $15,369,178,000 after buying an additional 8,865,366 shares during the period. Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. lifted its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 5,330.8% in the 4th quarter. Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. now owns 5,357,196 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $18,791,000 after buying an additional 5,258,551 shares during the period. Nuveen Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 7.4% in the 4th quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 60,306,979 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $13,413,478,000 after buying an additional 4,140,017 shares during the period. Finally, Viking Global Investors LP lifted its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 43.4% in the 4th quarter. Viking Global Investors LP now owns 11,838,092 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $2,633,028,000 after buying an additional 3,581,072 shares during the period. 69.38% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Several equities analysts have recently issued reports on MSFT shares. UBS Group boosted their price objective on Microsoft from $275.00 to $300.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 28th. Wolfe Research started coverage on Microsoft in a report on Thursday, April 22nd. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $290.00 price objective for the company. Raymond James lifted their price target on Microsoft from $275.00 to $290.00 and gave the company a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 28th. KGI Securities started coverage on Microsoft in a research note on Tuesday, June 1st. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $300.00 price target for the company. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group cut their price target on Microsoft from $300.00 to $290.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, May 18th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, thirty-one have assigned a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $290.70.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 27th. The software giant reported $1.95 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.76 by $0.19. Microsoft had a return on equity of 43.75% and a net margin of 35.02%. The company had revenue of $41.71 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $40.83 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.40 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 19.1% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts predict that Microsoft Co. will post 7.71 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 10th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, May 20th were paid a dividend of $0.56 per share. This represents a $2.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.87%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, May 19th. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 38.89%.
In other news, CMO Christopher C. Capossela sold 6,086 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, May 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $252.66, for a total value of $1,537,688.76. Following the sale, the chief marketing officer now directly owns 92,119 shares in the company, valued at $23,274,786.54. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CMO Christopher C. Capossela sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $240.00, for a total value of $360,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief marketing officer now owns 87,703 shares in the company, valued at $21,048,720. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 15,586 shares of company stock worth $3,899,849 over the last 90 days. 0.05% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Microsoft Company Profile
Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports software, services, devices, and solutions worldwide. Its Productivity and Business Processes segment offers Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, Office 365 Security and Compliance, and Skype for Business, as well as related Client Access Licenses (CAL); Skype, Outlook.com, OneDrive, and LinkedIn; and Dynamics 365, a set of cloud-based and on-premises business solutions for small and medium businesses, large organizations, and divisions of enterprises.
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