North Star Asset Management Inc. cut its stake in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 1.5% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 176,287 shares of the software giant’s stock after selling 2,630 shares during the period. Microsoft Corporation comprises 1.2% of North Star Asset Management Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 20th largest position. North Star Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in Microsoft Corporation were worth $11,610,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Northstar Group Inc. increased its position in Microsoft Corporation by 0.3% in the first quarter. Northstar Group Inc. now owns 3,790 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $248,000 after buying an additional 12 shares during the period. Gierl Augustine Investment Management Inc increased its position in Microsoft Corporation by 0.3% in the first quarter. Gierl Augustine Investment Management Inc now owns 4,034 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $266,000 after buying an additional 13 shares during the period. New Capital Management LP increased its position in Microsoft Corporation by 0.5% in the first quarter. New Capital Management LP now owns 4,305 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $284,000 after buying an additional 22 shares during the period. Vista Capital Partners Inc. increased its position in Microsoft Corporation by 0.4% in the first quarter. Vista Capital Partners Inc. now owns 9,411 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $620,000 after buying an additional 36 shares during the period. Finally, Horizon Kinetics LLC increased its position in Microsoft Corporation by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. Horizon Kinetics LLC now owns 18,380 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $1,142,000 after buying an additional 50 shares during the period. 72.64% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ MSFT) traded up 0.12% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $73.29. 3,881,692 shares of the company were exchanged. The company has a market capitalization of $564.50 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.04 and a beta of 1.01. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $71.77 and a 200 day moving average of $68.08. Microsoft Corporation has a 12-month low of $55.61 and a 12-month high of $74.42.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 20th. The software giant reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.27. Microsoft Corporation had a return on equity of 36.81% and a net margin of 23.57%. The business had revenue of $24.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $24.29 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.69 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 9.1% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast 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. Investors of record on Thursday, August 17th will be issued a $0.39 dividend. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.12%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 15th. Microsoft Corporation’s payout ratio is presently 57.78%.

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MSFT has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Credit Suisse Group initiated coverage on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research report on Thursday, April 27th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $80.00 price objective on the stock. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Microsoft Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, June 10th. Raymond James Financial, Inc. boosted their price objective on shares of Microsoft Corporation to $84.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 21st. Barclays PLC reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $82.00 price objective (up from $77.00) on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research report on Friday, July 21st. Finally, MKM Partners reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $70.00 price objective (up from $66.00) on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research report on Sunday, July 23rd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and twenty-seven have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $76.15.

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 stock was sold at an average price of $69.00, for a total value of $1,805,385.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 570,843 shares in the company, valued at $39,388,167. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Christopher C. Capossela sold 4,927 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $68.75, for a total value of $338,731.25. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 214,080 shares in the company, valued at $14,718,000. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 7,057,855 shares of company stock worth $512,044,578 over the last quarter. 2.99% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

About Microsoft Corporation

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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