PFG Advisors boosted its holdings in Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 1.6% during the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The firm owned 37,693 shares of the software giant’s stock after acquiring an additional 605 shares during the quarter. Microsoft comprises about 1.5% of PFG Advisors’ portfolio, making the stock its 8th largest holding. PFG Advisors’ holdings in Microsoft were worth $6,034,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in MSFT. Wealthsource Partners LLC lifted its stake in shares of Microsoft by 5.0% in the third quarter. Wealthsource Partners LLC now owns 51,337 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $7,137,000 after buying an additional 2,444 shares in the last quarter. Miracle Mile Advisors LLC lifted its position in Microsoft by 4.7% during the third quarter. Miracle Mile Advisors LLC now owns 86,948 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $12,088,000 after purchasing an additional 3,915 shares during the period. Global Retirement Partners LLC lifted its position in Microsoft by 34.6% during the third quarter. Global Retirement Partners LLC now owns 65,133 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $9,055,000 after purchasing an additional 16,741 shares during the period. AMI Asset Management Corp lifted its position in Microsoft by 15.7% during the third quarter. AMI Asset Management Corp now owns 503,586 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $70,014,000 after purchasing an additional 68,174 shares during the period. Finally, Penserra Capital Management LLC lifted its position in Microsoft by 1,170.3% during the third quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC now owns 58,270 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $8,098,000 after purchasing an additional 53,683 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 71.78% of the company’s stock.

In related news, CMO Christopher C. Capossela sold 2,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $142.89, for a total transaction of $357,225.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief marketing officer now directly owns 133,944 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $19,139,258.16. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Margaret L. Johnson sold 35,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $150.01, for a total transaction of $5,250,350.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 62,423 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,364,074.23. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 66,919 shares of company stock valued at $9,817,790 over the last ninety days. 1.39% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Shares of NASDAQ MSFT traded down $0.41 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $162.87. The stock had a trading volume of 2,914,640 shares, compared to its average volume of 20,194,620. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $155.62 and a 200-day moving average of $143.30. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69, a quick ratio of 2.81 and a current ratio of 2.85. The company has a market capitalization of $1,246.78 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.29, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.53 and a beta of 1.23. Microsoft Co. has a 12-month low of $100.98 and a 12-month high of $160.73.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 23rd. The software giant reported $1.38 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by $0.14. The firm had revenue of $33.06 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.24 billion. Microsoft had a net margin of 31.66% and a return on equity of 39.14%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.14 earnings per share. As a group, analysts forecast that Microsoft Co. will post 5.36 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Microsoft declared that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, September 18th that allows the company to buyback $40.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the software giant to reacquire up to 3.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 12th. Investors of record on Thursday, February 20th will be paid a dividend of $0.51 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 19th. This represents a $2.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.25%. Microsoft’s payout ratio is 42.95%.

A number of research analysts recently weighed in on MSFT shares. Evercore ISI restated a “buy” rating and set a $170.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Monday, December 16th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $169.00 target price on shares of Microsoft in a report on Thursday, October 24th. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $160.00 target price on shares of Microsoft in a report on Monday, November 18th. Mizuho reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $160.00 target price on shares of Microsoft in a report on Wednesday, November 20th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada upped their target price on shares of Microsoft from $160.00 to $163.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, October 24th. One analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, thirty-one have assigned a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $165.28.

About Microsoft

Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports software, services, devices, and solutions worldwide. Its company's Productivity and Business Processes segment offers Office 365 commercial products and services, 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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