Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced a quarterly dividend on Monday, March 12th, RTT News reports. Stockholders of record on Thursday, May 17th will be given a dividend of 0.42 per share by the software giant on Thursday, June 14th. This represents a $1.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.74%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, May 16th.
Microsoft has raised its dividend by an average of 11.4% per year over the last three years and has raised its dividend annually for the last 14 consecutive years. Microsoft has a payout ratio of 49.6% indicating that its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Analysts expect Microsoft to earn $3.92 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $1.68 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 42.9%.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) traded up $0.23 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $96.77. The stock had a trading volume of 26,042,429 shares, compared to its average volume of 35,980,000. The company has a market cap of $745,110.00, a P/E ratio of 29.68, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.23 and a beta of 1.04. The company has a current ratio of 2.89, a quick ratio of 2.85 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01. Microsoft has a 1 year low of $64.12 and a 1 year high of $97.21.
In other news, CMO Christopher C. Capossela sold 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $93.30, for a total value of $279,900.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief marketing officer now owns 178,278 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $16,633,337.40. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Christopher C. Capossela sold 3,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $93.00, for a total value of $325,500.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 174,778 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $16,254,354. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 10,000 shares of company stock valued at $930,900. Insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MSFT. Beach Investment Management LLC. grew its stake in Microsoft by 947.3% during the second quarter. Beach Investment Management LLC. now owns 279,537 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $19,268,000 after purchasing an additional 252,847 shares during the period. Signature Financial Management Inc. grew its stake in Microsoft by 41.6% during the second quarter. Signature Financial Management Inc. now owns 17,475 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $1,204,000 after purchasing an additional 5,134 shares during the period. Advisors Asset Management Inc. grew its stake in Microsoft by 8.2% during the second quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 819,350 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $56,478,000 after purchasing an additional 61,901 shares during the period. United Asset Strategies Inc. grew its stake in Microsoft by 57.9% during the second quarter. United Asset Strategies Inc. now owns 20,521 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $1,415,000 after purchasing an additional 7,526 shares during the period. Finally, Outfitter Advisors LTD. grew its stake in Microsoft by 0.8% during the second quarter. Outfitter Advisors LTD. now owns 12,133 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $836,000 after purchasing an additional 100 shares during the period. 73.88% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
MSFT has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Vetr upgraded Microsoft from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $90.36 target price for the company in a research report on Monday, November 13th. Goldman Sachs Group set a $92.00 price objective on Microsoft and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 16th. Sanford C. Bernstein restated a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Wednesday, November 15th. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Monday, November 27th. Finally, UBS Group set a $105.00 price objective on Microsoft and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, December 8th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and thirty have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $99.28.
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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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