Microsoft (MSFT) Downgraded to “Buy” at Vetr

Vetr lowered shares of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Wednesday morning. The brokerage currently has $106.32 price target on the software giant’s stock.

Several other research firms have also recently issued reports on MSFT. Deutsche Bank set a $120.00 price target on Microsoft and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Monday, March 12th. UBS set a $110.00 price target on Microsoft and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, February 1st. Wells Fargo set a $105.00 price target on Microsoft and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, February 1st. Royal Bank of Canada set a $105.00 price target on Microsoft and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, February 1st. Finally, Macquarie set a $95.00 price target on Microsoft and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research note on Thursday, February 1st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and thirty-one have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $100.19.

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NASDAQ:MSFT opened at $96.44 on Wednesday. Microsoft has a 1 year low of $64.89 and a 1 year high of $97.24. The firm has a market capitalization of $739,719.13, a PE ratio of 29.14, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.23 and a beta of 1.07. The company has a quick ratio of 2.85, a current ratio of 2.89 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 31st. The software giant reported $0.96 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.09. Microsoft had a return on equity of 35.41% and a net margin of 11.72%. The company had revenue of $28.92 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $28.42 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.83 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.9% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts predict that Microsoft will post 3.63 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, May 17th will be issued a dividend of $0.42 per share. This represents a $1.68 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.74%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, May 16th. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio is 50.76%.

In related news, CMO Christopher C. Capossela sold 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $93.30, for a total value of $279,900.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief marketing officer now directly owns 178,278 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $16,633,337.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Christopher C. Capossela sold 3,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $93.00, for a total value of $325,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 174,778 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $16,254,354. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 10,000 shares of company stock valued at $930,900. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in MSFT. Tompkins Financial Corp increased its position in Microsoft by 17.9% in the 3rd quarter. Tompkins Financial Corp now owns 100,261 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $7,469,000 after purchasing an additional 15,202 shares during the last quarter. Private Wealth Partners LLC increased its position in Microsoft by 0.6% in the 3rd quarter. Private Wealth Partners LLC now owns 270,524 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $20,151,000 after purchasing an additional 1,511 shares during the last quarter. Rockefeller Financial Services Inc. increased its position in Microsoft by 1.6% in the 3rd quarter. Rockefeller Financial Services Inc. now owns 1,764,878 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $131,466,000 after purchasing an additional 27,962 shares during the last quarter. RNC Capital Management LLC increased its position in Microsoft by 0.6% in the 4th quarter. RNC Capital Management LLC now owns 535,705 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $45,824,000 after purchasing an additional 2,977 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Markel Corp increased its position in Microsoft by 11.4% in the 3rd quarter. Markel Corp now owns 312,000 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $23,241,000 after purchasing an additional 32,000 shares during the last quarter. 73.84% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Microsoft

Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports software products, services, and devices worldwide. The company's Productivity and Business Processes segment offers Office 365 commercial products and services for businesses, including Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Skype for Business, and related Client Access Licenses (CALs); Office 365 consumer services, such as Skype, Outlook.com, and OneDrive; Dynamics business solutions, such as financial management, enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, supply chain management, and analytics applications for small and mid-size businesses, large organizations, and divisions of enterprises; and LinkedIn online professional network.

To view Vetr’s full report, visit Vetr’s official website.

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