Microsoft Co. (MSFT) Given “Buy” Rating at Goldman Sachs Group Inc

Goldman Sachs Group Inc reaffirmed their buy rating on shares of Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, May 9th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc currently has a $78.00 target price on the software giant’s stock.

Several other brokerages also recently weighed in on MSFT. Vetr raised Microsoft from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $71.81 target price for the company in a research note on Thursday, May 4th. William Blair reiterated an outperform rating on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Friday, April 28th. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated an overweight rating and set a $80.00 price target on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Friday, April 28th. Cowen and Company boosted their price target on Microsoft from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research report on Friday, April 28th. Finally, Raymond James Financial, Inc. restated a strong-buy rating and issued a $77.00 target price (up from $73.00) on shares of Microsoft in a report on Monday, May 1st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating, twenty-five have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Microsoft presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $69.44.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) traded up 0.27% during trading on Tuesday, hitting $67.89. 11,354,637 shares of the stock traded hands. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $67.19 and a 200 day moving average price of $63.89. The company has a market cap of $524.15 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.96 and a beta of 1.08. Microsoft has a 52-week low of $48.04 and a 52-week high of $69.71.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The software giant reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.04. Microsoft had a return on equity of 32.12% and a net margin of 19.57%. The company had revenue of $23.56 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $23.62 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.62 earnings per share. Microsoft’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that Microsoft will post $3.03 EPS for the current year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 8th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, May 18th will be paid a dividend of $0.39 per share. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.30%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, May 16th. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio is presently 73.59%.

In other Microsoft news, Director William H. Gates III sold 2,500,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.40, for a total transaction of $173,500,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Christopher C. Capossela sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $69.11, for a total value of $207,330.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 216,507 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,962,798.77. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 16,645,694 shares of company stock worth $1,127,019,616. 2.99% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Sandy Spring Bank boosted its position in Microsoft by 3.4% in the third quarter. Sandy Spring Bank now owns 277,037 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $16,003,000 after buying an additional 9,165 shares during the period. Roof Eidam & Maycock ADV boosted its position in Microsoft by 1.6% in the third quarter. Roof Eidam & Maycock ADV now owns 33,234 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $1,914,000 after buying an additional 534 shares during the period. AMF Pensionsforsakring AB boosted its position in Microsoft by 10.1% in the fourth quarter. AMF Pensionsforsakring AB now owns 6,579,698 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $408,862,000 after buying an additional 606,188 shares during the period. Huntington National Bank boosted its position in Microsoft by 26.4% in the third quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 1,146,705 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $66,050,000 after buying an additional 239,730 shares during the period. Finally, Sawgrass Asset Management LLC boosted its position in Microsoft by 12.3% in the third quarter. Sawgrass Asset Management LLC now owns 1,898,849 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $109,374,000 after buying an additional 208,252 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.29% of the company’s stock.

About Microsoft

Microsoft Corporation is a technology company. The Company develops, licenses, and supports a range of software products, services and devices. The Company’s segments include Productivity and Business Processes, Intelligent Cloud and More Personal Computing. The Company’s products include operating systems; cross-device productivity applications; server applications; business solution applications; desktop and server management tools; software development tools; video games, and training and certification of computer system integrators and developers.

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