Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) was the target of a large increase in short interest in July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 45,856,601 shares, an increase of 3.5% from the July 14th total of 44,309,569 shares. Approximately 0.6% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 27,134,827 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 1.7 days.

Shares of Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) opened at 71.41 on Friday. Microsoft Corporation has a 12-month low of $55.61 and a 12-month high of $74.42. The stock has a market cap of $550.02 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.35 and a beta of 1.01. The company’s 50-day moving average is $71.64 and its 200-day moving average is $67.88.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 20th. The software giant reported $0.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.27. The business had revenue of $24.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $24.29 billion. Microsoft Corporation had a net margin of 23.57% and a return on equity of 36.81%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.69 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Microsoft Corporation will post $3.22 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 17th will be paid a dividend of $0.39 per share. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.18%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 15th. Microsoft Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is currently 57.78%.

In related news, insider Jean Philippe Courtois sold 26,165 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $69.00, for a total transaction of $1,805,385.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 570,843 shares in the company, valued at approximately $39,388,167. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider G Mason Morfit sold 7,000,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.56, for a total transaction of $507,920,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 7,060,855 shares of company stock valued at $512,251,908. 2.99% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of MSFT. Appropriate Balance Financial Services Inc. boosted its position in Microsoft Corporation by 4.7% in the second quarter. Appropriate Balance Financial Services Inc. now owns 643 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $9,331,000 after buying an additional 29 shares in the last quarter. Hefty Wealth Partners boosted its position in Microsoft Corporation by 65.6% in the second quarter. Hefty Wealth Partners now owns 1,648 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $113,000 after buying an additional 653 shares in the last quarter. Asset Planning Services Ltd. boosted its position in Microsoft Corporation by 93.0% in the first quarter. Asset Planning Services Ltd. now owns 1,737 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 837 shares in the last quarter. Ullmann Financial Group Inc. bought a new position in Microsoft Corporation during the first quarter valued at about $132,000. Finally, Stelac Advisory Services LLC boosted its position in Microsoft Corporation by 23.5% in the second quarter. Stelac Advisory Services LLC now owns 2,033 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $140,000 after buying an additional 387 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.86% of the company’s stock.

MSFT has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $80.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research report on Wednesday, April 19th. Pacific Crest restated a “buy” rating and issued a $70.00 price target on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research report on Thursday, April 20th. Morgan Stanley restated a “buy” rating and issued a $72.00 price target on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research report on Thursday, April 20th. Vetr cut shares of Microsoft Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $69.32 price target for the company. in a research report on Monday, April 24th. Finally, MKM Partners restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $60.00 price target on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research report on Tuesday, April 25th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and twenty-seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $76.15.

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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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