Analyst IMS Investment Management Services Ltd. raised its position in Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ: MSFT – Get Rating) by 11.4% during the 1st quarter, reports Holdings Channel.com. The institutional investor held 50,033 shares of the software giant after buying an additional 5,101 shares during the quarter. Microsoft accounts for about 1.4% of Analyst IMS Investment Management Services Ltd.’s portfolio, making the stock its 10th-highest position. The holdings of analyst IMS Investment Management Services Ltd. in Microsoft were worth $15,426,000 at the end of the last quarter.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently changed their positions in MSFT. Shore Point Advisors LLC bought a new position in Microsoft in the fourth quarter worth about $40,000. Tobam increased its Microsoft stock holding by 15,400.0% in Q1. Tobam now owns 155 shares of the software giant valued at $48,000 after buying an additional 154 shares in the last quarter. Artemis Wealth Advisors LLC purchased a new equity stake in Microsoft during Q1 worth approximately $68,000. Castle Financial & Retirement Planning Associates Inc. acquired a new position in Microsoft during Q4 worth approximately $80,000. Finally, Evolution Advisers Inc. bought a new position in Microsoft in Q4 valued at around $84,000. 69.99% of the shares are currently held by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Changes to analyst ratings
Several research analysts have recently published reports on MSFT shares. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered its price target on Microsoft shares from $320.00 to $305.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a Wednesday, July 27 report. Wedbush lowered its target price on Microsoft from $340.00 to $320.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a Wednesday, July 27 research report. Evercore ISI cut its price target on Microsoft from $370.00 to $330.00 and made an “online” rating on the stock in a Wednesday, April 27 research note. Royal Bank of Canada set a price target of $380.00 on Microsoft in a Thursday, May 19 research note. Finally, Fundamental Research cut its price target on Microsoft stock from $299.93 to $298.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a Tuesday, May 3 research report. One equity research analyst gave the stock a hold rating and twenty-nine gave the company’s stock a buy rating. Based on data from MarketBeat, the company has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus price target of $334.47.
Microsoft down 1.1%
Microsoft shares opened at $274.82 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.05 trillion, a PE ratio of 28.51, a price-to-earnings growth ratio of 2.36 and a beta of 0.93. Microsoft Co. has a 52-week low of $241.51 and a 52-week high of $349.67. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $262.01 and a 200-day moving average price of $280.55. The company has a debt ratio of 0.28, a quick ratio of 1.75 and a current ratio of 1.78.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT – Get Rating) last released its quarterly results on Tuesday, July 26. The software giant reported earnings per share (EPS) of $2.23 for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.29 per ($0.06). Microsoft had a net margin of 36.69% and a return on equity of 43.31%. In the same quarter last year, the company posted earnings per share of $2.17. As a group, stock analysts expect Microsoft Co. to post earnings per share of 10.14 for the current fiscal year.
Microsoft announces dividend
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 8. Investors of record on Thursday August 18 will receive a dividend of $0.62. The ex-date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 17. This represents a dividend of $2.48 on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.90%. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio is currently 25.73%.
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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, and associated client access licenses (CALs); Skype, Outlook.com, OneDrive and LinkedIn; and Dynamics 365, a set of cloud-based and on-premises business solutions for organizations and business divisions.
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