Hills Bank & Trust Co. increased its holdings in shares of Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 0.8% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 72,124 shares of the software giant’s stock after acquiring an additional 539 shares during the quarter. Microsoft comprises 2.3% of Hills Bank & Trust Co.’s portfolio, making the stock its 5th biggest holding. Hills Bank & Trust Co.’s holdings in Microsoft were worth $7,325,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc grew its holdings in Microsoft by 1.6% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 577,877,949 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $66,091,902,000 after buying an additional 8,820,439 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley raised its position in Microsoft by 4.8% in the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 60,865,803 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $6,961,221,000 after purchasing an additional 2,796,779 shares during the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its position in Microsoft by 19.6% in the third quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 9,248,352 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $1,057,849,000 after purchasing an additional 1,517,947 shares during the last quarter. ADAMCAPITAL Gestao de Recursos Ltda. raised its position in Microsoft by 342.8% in the third quarter. ADAMCAPITAL Gestao de Recursos Ltda. now owns 1,866,026 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $213,417,000 after purchasing an additional 1,444,650 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Nan Shan Life Insurance Co. Ltd. bought a new position in Microsoft in the third quarter valued at about $129,830,000. 72.10% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Goldman Sachs Group reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $131.00 price target on shares of Microsoft in a research note on Thursday, April 18th. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $125.00 target price on shares of Microsoft in a research note on Friday, March 22nd. Deutsche Bank raised their price objective on Microsoft from $130.00 to $145.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 25th. Raymond James raised their price objective on Microsoft from $142.00 to $149.00 and gave the company a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 25th. Finally, Mizuho reissued a “top pick” rating and issued a $142.00 price objective (up previously from $135.00) on shares of Microsoft in a research note on Thursday, April 25th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, twenty-five have given a buy rating and three have given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $135.75.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The software giant reported $1.14 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.00 by $0.14. Microsoft had a return on equity of 39.34% and a net margin of 28.58%. The company had revenue of $30.57 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $29.86 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.95 EPS. Microsoft’s revenue for the quarter was up 14.0% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts expect that Microsoft Co. will post 4.58 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 12th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 15th will be given a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.39%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 14th. Microsoft’s payout ratio is 47.42%.
In related news, President Bradford L. Smith sold 192,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, April 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $130.34, for a total value of $25,064,382.00. Following the transaction, the president now directly owns 754,442 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $98,333,970.28. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Kathleen T. Hogan sold 15,947 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $133.17, for a total value of $2,123,661.99. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 202,518 shares in the company, valued at $26,969,322.06. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 216,247 shares of company stock valued at $28,204,754 in the last ninety days. 1.38% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
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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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