Scharf Investments LLC decreased its stake in shares of Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 4.5% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 1,014,283 shares of the software giant’s stock after selling 48,280 shares during the quarter. Microsoft comprises 8.3% of Scharf Investments LLC’s holdings, making the stock its biggest position. Scharf Investments LLC’s holdings in Microsoft were worth $239,138,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
A number of other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of MSFT. Resolute Partners Group acquired a new stake in shares of Microsoft in the fourth quarter worth $26,000. Goodwin Investment Advisory acquired a new stake in shares of Microsoft in the fourth quarter worth $28,000. NuWave Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Microsoft by 3,250.0% in the fourth quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC now owns 134 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $30,000 after acquiring an additional 130 shares during the period. JustInvest LLC increased its stake in shares of Microsoft by 6.1% in the fourth quarter. JustInvest LLC now owns 82,199 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $30,000 after acquiring an additional 4,736 shares during the period. Finally, Kinloch Capital LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Microsoft in the fourth quarter worth $37,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 69.01% of the company’s stock.
In related news, Director Emma N. Walmsley purchased 4,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 10th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $236.80 per share, for a total transaction of $1,018,240.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 5,026 shares in the company, valued at $1,190,156.80. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Jean Philippe Courtois sold 18,358 shares of Microsoft stock in a transaction dated Thursday, January 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $239.60, for a total transaction of $4,398,576.80. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 593,915 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $142,302,034. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
A number of brokerages recently issued reports on MSFT. Credit Suisse Group set a $265.00 price target on shares of Microsoft and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 13th. Bank of America increased their price target on shares of Microsoft from $280.00 to $300.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday. Raymond James increased their price target on shares of Microsoft from $235.00 to $275.00 and gave the stock a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 27th. Barclays increased their price target on shares of Microsoft from $250.00 to $269.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 27th. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group set a $300.00 price target on shares of Microsoft and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, April 12th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, thirty-one have issued a buy rating and three have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $272.86.
NASDAQ:MSFT opened at $257.17 on Friday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $241.97 and its 200-day moving average price is $226.75. The company has a current ratio of 2.53, a quick ratio of 2.49 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46. The company has a market cap of $1.94 trillion, a P/E ratio of 41.55, a P/E/G ratio of 2.44 and a beta of 0.83. Microsoft Co. has a twelve month low of $169.39 and a twelve month high of $261.78.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, January 25th. The software giant reported $2.03 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.64 by $0.39. Microsoft had a net margin of 32.28% and a return on equity of 40.74%. The firm had revenue of $43.08 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $40.23 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.51 earnings per share. Microsoft’s revenue was up 16.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that Microsoft Co. will post 6.73 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 10th. Investors of record on Thursday, May 20th will be given a dividend of $0.56 per share. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.87%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, May 19th. Microsoft’s payout ratio is currently 38.89%.
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, OneDrive, and LinkedIn; and Dynamics 365, a set of cloud-based and on-premises business solutions for small and medium businesses, large organizations, and divisions of enterprises.
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