Newport Wealth Strategies Inc. lowered its stake in Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 4.1% during the third quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 12,647 shares of the software giant’s stock after selling 539 shares during the period. Microsoft makes up 1.6% of Newport Wealth Strategies Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 20th biggest holding. Newport Wealth Strategies Inc.’s holdings in Microsoft were worth $1,758,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of MSFT. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA boosted its stake in shares of Microsoft by 274.5% during the second quarter. LFA Lugano Financial Advisors SA now owns 191 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $26,000 after purchasing an additional 140 shares in the last quarter. Krane Funds Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Microsoft in the second quarter worth approximately $26,000. Centaurus Financial Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Microsoft by 21.1% in the first quarter. Centaurus Financial Inc. now owns 3,222 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $27,000 after acquiring an additional 561 shares during the period. AlphaOne Investment Services LLC acquired a new position in shares of Microsoft in the second quarter worth approximately $51,000. Finally, Gavea Investimentos Ltda acquired a new position in shares of Microsoft in the second quarter worth approximately $70,000. Institutional investors own 72.16% of the company’s stock.
A number of research firms recently commented on MSFT. DZ Bank reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Microsoft in a research note on Friday, July 19th. Argus lifted their price objective on Microsoft to $158.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 25th. Deutsche Bank set a $155.00 price objective on Microsoft and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 17th. Stifel Nicolaus lifted their price objective on Microsoft from $150.00 to $155.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 19th. Finally, KeyCorp reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $155.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft in a research note on Thursday, August 29th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-seven have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Microsoft currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $151.52.
MSFT opened at $139.68 on Friday. The stock’s 50 day simple moving average is $137.45 and its 200 day simple moving average is $132.03. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.71, a current ratio of 2.53 and a quick ratio of 2.50. Microsoft Co. has a 1 year low of $93.96 and a 1 year high of $142.37. The firm has a market cap of $1,066.51 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.41, a PEG ratio of 2.22 and a beta of 1.22.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 18th. The software giant reported $1.37 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.21 by $0.16. The business had revenue of $33.72 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.80 billion. Microsoft had a return on equity of 39.26% and a net margin of 31.18%. The business’s revenue was up 12.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.13 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that Microsoft Co. will post 5.24 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 12th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 21st will be issued a dividend of $0.51 per share. This represents a $2.04 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.46%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 20th. This is a positive change from Microsoft’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.46. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio is currently 38.74%.
Microsoft announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Wednesday, September 18th that permits the company to buyback $40.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the software giant to reacquire up to 3.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
In related news, insider Frank H. Brod sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $141.05, for a total value of $564,200.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 64,152 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,048,639.60. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CMO Christopher C. Capossela sold 3,372 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $138.06, for a total transaction of $465,538.32. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief marketing officer now directly owns 136,623 shares in the company, valued at $18,862,171.38. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 318,757 shares of company stock valued at $43,735,918. Company insiders own 1.38% of the company’s stock.
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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