Traders Buy Microsoft (MSFT) on Weakness Following Insider Selling

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Traders purchased shares of Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) on weakness during trading hours on Wednesday after an insider sold shares in the company. $927.95 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $498.87 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $429.08 million into the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Microsoft had the highest net in-flow for the day. Microsoft traded down ($0.01) for the day and closed at $125.51Specifically, insider Jean Philippe Courtois sold 28,147 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.14, for a total value of $3,043,816.58. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 497,162 shares in the company, valued at $53,763,098.68. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, President Bradford L. Smith sold 192,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, April 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $130.34, for a total value of $25,064,382.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the president now owns 754,442 shares in the company, valued at approximately $98,333,970.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 261,501 shares of company stock worth $32,753,937. 1.38% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several research firms recently commented on MSFT. UBS Group upped their price objective on Microsoft from $125.00 to $150.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 25th. Bank of America upped their price objective on Microsoft from $150.00 to $155.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 25th. Argus upped their price objective on Microsoft to $145.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, April 29th. Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on Microsoft from $140.00 to $145.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 25th. Finally, Barclays upped their price objective on Microsoft from $132.00 to $152.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 25th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, twenty-six have given a buy rating and three have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Microsoft currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $135.14.

The stock has a market capitalization of $966.48 billion, a PE ratio of 32.35, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.27 and a beta of 1.24. The company has a quick ratio of 2.93, a current ratio of 2.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.70.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The software giant reported $1.14 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.00 by $0.14. The firm had revenue of $30.57 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $29.86 billion. Microsoft had a net margin of 28.58% and a return on equity of 39.34%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 14.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.95 earnings per share. As a group, analysts forecast that Microsoft Co. will post 4.58 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 13th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, May 15th will be issued a $0.46 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, May 15th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.47%. Microsoft’s payout ratio is currently 47.42%.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Somerset Trust Co boosted its position in shares of Microsoft by 0.7% in the 3rd quarter. Somerset Trust Co now owns 83,277 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $9,524,000 after buying an additional 610 shares in the last quarter. Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Co boosted its position in shares of Microsoft by 17.8% in the 3rd quarter. Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Co now owns 1,060,000 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $120,825,000 after buying an additional 160,000 shares in the last quarter. Patriot Wealth Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Microsoft by 2.2% in the 3rd quarter. Patriot Wealth Management Inc. now owns 176,240 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $20,157,000 after buying an additional 3,839 shares in the last quarter. Hemenway Trust Co LLC boosted its position in shares of Microsoft by 2.9% in the 3rd quarter. Hemenway Trust Co LLC now owns 128,743 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $14,724,000 after buying an additional 3,671 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Hills Bank & Trust Co. boosted its position in shares of Microsoft by 4.3% in the 3rd quarter. Hills Bank & Trust Co. now owns 71,585 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $8,188,000 after buying an additional 2,962 shares in the last quarter. 73.00% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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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