Short Interest in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Declines By 16.7%

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) was the target of a large decline in short interest in the month of September. As of September 29th, there was short interest totalling 45,435,015 shares, a decline of 16.7% from the September 15th total of 54,523,682 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 18,398,246 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 2.5 days. Currently, 0.6% of the shares of the company are sold short.

MSFT has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $87.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft Corporation and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 21st. Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $76.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research report on Friday, September 15th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $88.00 price objective (up from $85.00) on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research report on Friday. Evercore ISI reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $80.00 target price on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research note on Friday, August 18th. Finally, Macquarie set a $77.00 target price on shares of Microsoft Corporation and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, July 21st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and twenty-eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $79.41.

Shares of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) opened at 78.76 on Friday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $75.68 and its 200 day moving average price is $71.82. Microsoft Corporation has a one year low of $57.28 and a one year high of $79.42. The company has a market cap of $606.63 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.06 and a beta of 1.01.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The software giant reported $0.84 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.12. Microsoft Corporation had a return on equity of 36.81% and a net margin of 23.57%. The firm had revenue of $24.50 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $23.57 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.76 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 11.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Microsoft Corporation will post $3.19 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 14th. Investors of record on Thursday, November 16th will be issued a $0.42 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 15th. This represents a $1.68 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.13%. This is a positive change from Microsoft Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.39. Microsoft Corporation’s payout ratio is presently 57.78%.

In other Microsoft Corporation news, insider Jean Philippe Courtois sold 26,763 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $74.00, for a total transaction of $1,980,462.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 537,519 shares in the company, valued at approximately $39,776,406. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider G Mason Morfit sold 7,000,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.56, for a total transaction of $507,920,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 7,081,763 shares of company stock valued at $513,899,512 over the last ninety days. Company insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Appropriate Balance Financial Services Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 4.7% in the second quarter. Appropriate Balance Financial Services Inc. now owns 643 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $9,331,000 after acquiring an additional 29 shares during the period. Acrospire Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in Microsoft Corporation by 300.0% during the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 1,600 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $110,000 after purchasing an additional 1,200 shares during the period. Hefty Wealth Partners grew its holdings in Microsoft Corporation by 65.6% during the second quarter. Hefty Wealth Partners now owns 1,648 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $113,000 after purchasing an additional 653 shares during the period. Asset Planning Services Ltd. grew its holdings in Microsoft Corporation by 93.0% during the first quarter. Asset Planning Services Ltd. now owns 1,737 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $114,000 after purchasing an additional 837 shares during the period. Finally, Ullmann Financial Group Inc. bought a new stake in Microsoft Corporation during the first quarter valued at about $132,000. 73.26% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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Microsoft Corporation Company Profile

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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