Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) had its target price hoisted by Stifel Nicolaus from to in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday, The Fly reports.

A number of other research analysts have also issued reports on MSFT. Mizuho reissued a buy rating and set a $160.00 target price on shares of Microsoft in a research note on Wednesday, November 20th. Deutsche Bank boosted their target price on shares of Microsoft from $160.00 to $175.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 17th. Citigroup boosted their target price on shares of Microsoft from $152.00 to $155.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, October 24th. BMO Capital Markets boosted their target price on shares of Microsoft from $160.00 to $165.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a report on Thursday, October 24th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein set a $174.00 price target on Microsoft and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, December 5th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating, thirty-three have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Microsoft has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $168.80.

NASDAQ MSFT traded down $1.59 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $165.13. The company had a trading volume of 15,299,541 shares, compared to its average volume of 20,123,888. Microsoft has a 1-year low of $102.17 and a 1-year high of $168.19. The company has a market cap of $1,260.05 billion, a PE ratio of 31.10, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.60 and a beta of 1.23. 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 business has a 50 day moving average of $158.58 and a 200-day moving average of $144.83.

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

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 12th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, February 20th will be paid a $0.51 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 19th. This represents a $2.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.24%. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 42.95%.

In other news, EVP Margaret L. Johnson sold 35,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 5th. The stock was 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 transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Jean Philippe Courtois sold 11,345 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $145.06, for a total value of $1,645,705.70. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 611,855 shares in the company, valued at $88,755,686.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 53,845 shares of company stock worth $7,974,356 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.39% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of MSFT. Selective Wealth Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Microsoft during the third quarter valued at approximately $36,000. Atwater Malick LLC bought a new stake in shares of Microsoft during the third quarter valued at approximately $37,000. AlphaOne Investment Services LLC bought a new stake in shares of Microsoft during the second quarter valued at approximately $51,000. University of Texas Texas AM Investment Managment Co. boosted its position in shares of Microsoft by 48.9% during the second quarter. University of Texas Texas AM Investment Managment Co. now owns 521 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $70,000 after purchasing an additional 171 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Virtus ETF Advisers LLC bought a new stake in shares of Microsoft during the second quarter valued at approximately $77,000. 71.86% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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