Viking Global Investors LP Reduces Stock Holdings in Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Viking Global Investors LP reduced its holdings in Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 21.2% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 7,704,063 shares of the software giant’s stock after selling 2,069,837 shares during the quarter. Microsoft accounts for 4.6% of Viking Global Investors LP’s holdings, making the stock its 6th biggest position. Viking Global Investors LP owned about 0.10% of Microsoft worth $1,032,036,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. New England Private Wealth Advisors LLC grew its position in Microsoft by 0.7% during the second quarter. New England Private Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 10,520 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $1,408,000 after purchasing an additional 72 shares in the last quarter. Orgel Wealth Management LLC grew its position in Microsoft by 1.2% during the second quarter. Orgel Wealth Management LLC now owns 6,492 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $870,000 after purchasing an additional 74 shares in the last quarter. Planning Directions Inc. grew its position in Microsoft by 3.2% during the second quarter. Planning Directions Inc. now owns 2,418 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $324,000 after purchasing an additional 74 shares in the last quarter. Weybosset Research & Management LLC grew its position in Microsoft by 2.1% during the second quarter. Weybosset Research & Management LLC now owns 3,625 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $486,000 after purchasing an additional 75 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Torch Wealth Management LLC grew its position in Microsoft by 0.4% during the second quarter. Torch Wealth Management LLC now owns 18,397 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $2,464,000 after purchasing an additional 76 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.16% of the company’s stock.

MSFT has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. CIBC boosted their price objective on shares of Microsoft from $145.00 to $160.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, July 19th. Citigroup boosted their price objective on shares of Microsoft from $147.00 to $152.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, July 19th. Goldman Sachs Group set a $151.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 19th. Macquarie boosted their price objective on shares of Microsoft from $150.00 to $160.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, July 19th. Finally, Mizuho set a $152.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, September 6th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating, twenty-eight have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $149.21.

In related news, CFO Amy Hood sold 123,769 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $137.26, for a total transaction of $16,988,532.94. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 433,940 shares in the company, valued at approximately $59,562,604.40. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CMO Christopher C. Capossela sold 3,372 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $138.06, for a total transaction of $465,538.32. Following the transaction, the chief marketing officer now owns 136,623 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $18,862,171.38. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 318,757 shares of company stock valued at $43,735,918 over the last 90 days. 1.38% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Shares of Microsoft stock traded up $0.99 on Monday, reaching $138.72. The stock had a trading volume of 5,755,196 shares, compared to its average volume of 23,032,816. The business’s 50-day moving average price is $137.23 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $130.50. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.71, a quick ratio of 2.50 and a current ratio of 2.53. Microsoft Co. has a fifty-two week low of $93.96 and a fifty-two week high of $142.37. The stock has a market cap of $1,060.73 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.20, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.42 and a beta of 1.22.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 18th. The software giant reported $1.37 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.21 by $0.16. Microsoft had a net margin of 31.18% and a return on equity of 39.26%. The business had revenue of $33.72 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.80 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.13 earnings per share. Microsoft’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.1% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Microsoft Co. will post 5.23 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 12th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 21st will be paid a $0.51 dividend. This represents a $2.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.47%. This is a boost from Microsoft’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.46. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 20th. Microsoft’s payout ratio is presently 38.74%.

Microsoft declared that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, September 18th that authorizes the company to buyback $40.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the software giant to purchase up to 3.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

About Microsoft

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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