Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday morning.
According to Zacks, “Microsoft has a dominant position in the desktop PC market, with its operating systems being used in the majority of PCs worldwide. The company’s strategic growth investments in cloud business and AI are a positive. The launch of Surface LTE and the new generation of Windows 10 PCs from its OEM partners bodes well for the company. Also, Microsoft’s recent blockchain deals with Hapoalim and Accenture and its Coco framework are tailwinds. We expect rapid adoption of Azure and Office 365 to remain the key catalysts in the near future. We believe that collaborations with Amazon, Red Hat, Symantec, Cray and PAREXEL are positive for the company's growth prospects. We also believe that Microsoft’s strategic initiatives to enter the augmented reality and virtual reality market will be positives. However, it's business reorganization and “cloud-first mobile-first” execution risks remain. Competition remains stiff.”
MSFT has been the subject of a number of other reports. ValuEngine upgraded Microsoft from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Vetr cut Microsoft from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $93.54 target price on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, January 17th. Instinet assumed coverage on Microsoft in a report on Thursday, January 25th. They set a buy rating on the stock. UBS Group set a $105.00 target price on Microsoft and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Friday, January 19th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co restated an outperform rating and set a $100.00 target price (up previously from $90.00) on shares of Microsoft in a report on Friday, January 12th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and thirty have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $99.14.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 31st. The software giant reported $0.96 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $28.92 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $28.42 billion. Microsoft had a return on equity of 35.41% and a net margin of 11.72%. The company’s revenue was up 11.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.83 earnings per share. analysts anticipate that Microsoft will post 3.65 EPS for the current year.
In other Microsoft news, CMO Christopher C. Capossela sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $93.30, for a total value of $279,900.00. Following the sale, the chief marketing officer now owns 178,278 shares in the company, valued at approximately $16,633,337.40. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Christopher C. Capossela sold 3,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $93.00, for a total value of $325,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 171,278 shares in the company, valued at approximately $15,928,854. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 10,000 shares of company stock worth $930,900 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.
Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Capital Research Global Investors increased its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 212.3% during the 2nd quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 69,663,044 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $4,801,874,000 after acquiring an additional 47,353,245 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 609.4% during the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 49,174,883 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $3,389,625,000 after acquiring an additional 42,243,011 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 4.6% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 564,052,011 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $38,880,105,000 after acquiring an additional 25,053,413 shares during the last quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 52.3% during the 4th quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 26,474,151 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $2,264,601,000 after acquiring an additional 9,092,634 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Tiger Global Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 395.2% during the 2nd quarter. Tiger Global Management LLC now owns 10,487,500 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $722,903,000 after acquiring an additional 8,369,500 shares during the last quarter. 72.94% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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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