Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been assigned a $72.00 price objective by investment analysts at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) in a report released on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a “buy” rating on the software giant’s stock. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The)’s price target points to a potential upside of 11.59% from the stock’s current price.

MSFT has been the subject of several other reports. Wunderlich upgraded Microsoft Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $60.00 to $70.00 in a research report on Friday, October 21st. Jefferies Group LLC increased their price objective on Microsoft Corporation from $43.00 to $45.00 and gave the company an “underperform” rating in a research note on Friday, January 27th. William Blair reiterated an “outperform” rating on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research note on Tuesday, December 13th. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $76.00 price objective on Microsoft Corporation and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, January 27th. Finally, Cowen and Company reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $64.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research note on Thursday, October 27th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating, twenty-five have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $67.17.

Analyst Recommendations for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Shares of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) opened at 64.52 on Wednesday. The stock has a market cap of $498.58 billion, a P/E ratio of 30.36 and a beta of 1.08. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $63.42 and its 200 day moving average price is $60.08. Microsoft Corporation has a 1-year low of $48.04 and a 1-year high of $65.91.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 26th. The software giant reported $0.84 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.79 by $0.05. Microsoft Corporation had a return on equity of 32.12% and a net margin of 19.57%. The business earned $26.07 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $25.13 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.78 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 1.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that Microsoft Corporation will post $2.98 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 9th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, February 16th will be issued a $0.39 dividend. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.42%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, February 14th. Microsoft Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is presently 73.59%.

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In other Microsoft Corporation news, insider G Mason Morfit sold 11,000,000 shares of Microsoft Corporation stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.32, for a total value of $696,520,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Frank H. Brod sold 7,500 shares of Microsoft Corporation stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, January 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.35, for a total value of $490,125.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 114,008 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,450,422.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 15,007,500 shares of company stock worth $956,330,125 in the last ninety days. 2.99% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Tortoise Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 1.7% in the fourth quarter. Tortoise Investment Management LLC now owns 8,190 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $509,000 after buying an additional 137 shares in the last quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans raised its stake in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 9.6% in the fourth quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 6,860,773 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $426,332,000 after buying an additional 603,184 shares in the last quarter. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. raised its stake in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. now owns 144,835 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $9,000,000 after buying an additional 586 shares in the last quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of Microsoft Corporation during the fourth quarter worth $5,893,000. Finally, Heritage Way Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Microsoft Corporation during the fourth quarter worth $2,498,000. 72.29% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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