Empirical Financial Services LLC d.b.a. Empirical Wealth Management lessened its holdings in shares of Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 18.8% in the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The firm owned 45,194 shares of the software giant’s stock after selling 10,474 shares during the quarter. Microsoft comprises approximately 1.1% of Empirical Financial Services LLC d.b.a. Empirical Wealth Management’s holdings, making the stock its 14th largest position. Empirical Financial Services LLC d.b.a. Empirical Wealth Management’s holdings in Microsoft were worth $5,690,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in MSFT. HC Financial Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Microsoft during the fourth quarter valued at $2,206,000. American Century Companies Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 4.1% during the first quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 14,905,083 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $1,360,387,000 after purchasing an additional 590,793 shares during the last quarter. Columbus Circle Investors lifted its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 16.4% during the first quarter. Columbus Circle Investors now owns 1,229,776 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $112,242,000 after purchasing an additional 173,446 shares during the last quarter. FCG Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 19.6% during the first quarter. FCG Advisors LLC now owns 25,098 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $2,291,000 after purchasing an additional 4,111 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Westpac Banking Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 11.5% during the first quarter. Westpac Banking Corp now owns 1,048,219 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $95,671,000 after purchasing an additional 107,867 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 71.71% of the company’s stock.

NASDAQ:MSFT opened at $111.71 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $864.92 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.79, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.15 and a beta of 1.26. Microsoft Co. has a 1-year low of $72.92 and a 1-year high of $112.78. The company has a current ratio of 2.90, a quick ratio of 2.86 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 19th. The software giant reported $1.13 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $30.09 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $29.23 billion. Microsoft had a return on equity of 36.69% and a net margin of 15.02%. Microsoft’s quarterly revenue was up 17.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.75 earnings per share. equities research analysts predict that Microsoft Co. will post 4.25 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 13th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 16th will be given a dividend of $0.42 per share. This represents a $1.68 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.50%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 15th. Microsoft’s payout ratio is 43.30%.

In other Microsoft news, CEO Satya Nadella sold 328,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $109.44, for a total value of $35,896,320.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 778,596 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $85,209,546.24. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Margaret L. Johnson sold 47,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $107.67, for a total value of $5,060,490.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 109,687 shares in the company, valued at $11,809,999.29. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 442,880 shares of company stock worth $48,304,569 over the last three months. 1.49% of the stock is owned by insiders.

MSFT has been the subject of several analyst reports. Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $117.00 target price on shares of Microsoft in a report on Friday, August 10th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $115.00 target price on shares of Microsoft in a report on Friday, May 18th. Credit Suisse Group set a $125.00 target price on Microsoft and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, August 27th. Morgan Stanley set a $130.00 target price on Microsoft and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, July 9th. Finally, KeyCorp reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $110.00 target price on shares of Microsoft in a report on Tuesday, July 17th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, thirty have assigned a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $118.11.

Microsoft Profile

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

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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