Shares of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) saw an uptick in trading volume on Friday . 36,562,164 shares traded hands during trading, an increase of 14% from the previous session’s volume of 32,145,387 shares.The stock last traded at $57.08 and had previously closed at $57.19.

Several research firms have issued reports on MSFT. Pacific Crest reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 price target on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research report on Tuesday, September 13th. Vetr raised shares of Microsoft Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $59.88 price target on the stock in a research report on Thursday, September 8th. Nomura reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 price target on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research report on Thursday, July 28th. Argus reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $62.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft Corp. in a research report on Friday, July 22nd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and twenty-one have given a buy rating to the stock. Microsoft Corp. presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $59.25.

The company has a market cap of $446.12 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.26 and a beta of 1.08. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $57.46 and a 200-day moving average of $53.76.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 19th. The software giant reported $0.69 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.11. Microsoft Corp. had a return on equity of 29.38% and a net margin of 19.33%. The company had revenue of $22.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $22.15 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.60 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Microsoft Corp. will post $2.90 EPS for the current year.

In other Microsoft Corp. news, insider G Mason Morfit sold 18,000,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.12, for a total value of $1,010,160,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director William H. Gates III sold 2,500,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.94, for a total value of $139,850,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.76% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Choate Investment Advisors boosted its position in Microsoft Corp. by 23.4% in the fourth quarter. Choate Investment Advisors now owns 131,661 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $6,119,000 after buying an additional 24,995 shares during the last quarter. Feltz Wealth PLAN Inc. bought a new position in Microsoft Corp. during the fourth quarter worth $1,082,000. Investment Counsel Inc. bought a new position in Microsoft Corp. during the fourth quarter worth $3,060,000. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. bought a new position in Microsoft Corp. during the fourth quarter worth $3,582,000. Finally, Norges Bank bought a new position in Microsoft Corp. during the fourth quarter worth $3,689,539,000. 71.65% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft Corporation is a technology company. The Company develops, licenses and supports a range of software products, services and devices. Its segments are Productivity and Business Processes, Intelligent Cloud, and More Personal Computing. Its 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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