Ashfield Capital Partners LLC Reduces Stake in Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Ashfield Capital Partners LLC lessened its position in Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 0.6% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 331,557 shares of the software giant’s stock after selling 1,962 shares during the period. Microsoft comprises 6.3% of Ashfield Capital Partners LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 2nd largest holding. Ashfield Capital Partners LLC’s holdings in Microsoft were worth $69,736,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Newfound Research LLC purchased a new position in shares of Microsoft during the third quarter valued at approximately $32,000. Virtus ETF Advisers LLC raised its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 230.5% during the second quarter. Virtus ETF Advisers LLC now owns 195 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $40,000 after purchasing an additional 136 shares during the last quarter. FNY Investment Advisers LLC purchased a new position in shares of Microsoft during the third quarter valued at approximately $45,000. Virtus Alternative Investment Advisers Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Microsoft during the second quarter valued at approximately $48,000. Finally, Your Advocates Ltd. LLP raised its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 588.2% during the second quarter. Your Advocates Ltd. LLP now owns 351 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $71,000 after purchasing an additional 300 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 69.93% of the company’s stock.

In other Microsoft news, CMO Christopher C. Capossela sold 23,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $210.70, for a total transaction of $4,846,100.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief marketing officer now owns 122,943 shares in the company, valued at $25,904,090.10. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, President Bradford L. Smith sold 200,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $222.58, for a total transaction of $44,516,000.00. Following the transaction, the president now owns 778,439 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $173,264,952.62. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 422,556 shares of company stock valued at $93,282,154 in the last quarter. 0.05% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Shares of NASDAQ:MSFT opened at $210.39 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46, a quick ratio of 2.49 and a current ratio of 2.53. The firm has a fifty day moving average price of $213.80 and a 200 day moving average price of $204.25. Microsoft Co. has a fifty-two week low of $132.52 and a fifty-two week high of $232.86. The firm has a market cap of $1,590.65 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.99, a P/E/G ratio of 2.58 and a beta of 0.87.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 27th. The software giant reported $1.82 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.53 by $0.29. Microsoft had a net margin of 32.28% and a return on equity of 40.74%. As a group, research analysts predict that Microsoft Co. will post 6.74 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 10th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 19th will be given a dividend of $0.56 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 18th. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.06%. This is a positive change from Microsoft’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.51. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 38.89%.

Several research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Oppenheimer raised shares of Microsoft from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $260.00 price objective for the company in a report on Thursday, November 5th. UBS Group set a $243.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 28th. Mizuho upped their target price on shares of Microsoft from $240.00 to $255.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 15th. Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $250.00 target price on shares of Microsoft in a report on Wednesday, October 28th. Finally, Summit Insights cut shares of Microsoft from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 29th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-nine have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $230.46.

Microsoft 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, and OneDrive; LinkedIn that includes Talent, Learning, Sales, and Marketing solutions, as well as premium subscriptions; and Dynamics 365, a set of cloud-based and on-premises business solutions for small and medium businesses, large organizations, and divisions of enterprises.

See Also: Limitations to arbitrage trading

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding MSFT? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT).

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Receive News & Ratings for Microsoft Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Microsoft and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.