Zacks: Brokerages Expect Microsoft Co. (MSFT) to Post $0.86 EPS

Brokerages predict that Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) will announce earnings per share of $0.86 for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Ten analysts have issued estimates for Microsoft’s earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $0.84 and the highest estimate coming in at $0.91. Microsoft posted earnings of $0.83 per share in the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 3.6%. The firm is expected to issue its next earnings report after the market closes on Wednesday, January 31st.

On average, analysts expect that Microsoft will report full-year earnings of $3.39 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.22 to $3.55. For the next year, analysts forecast that the company will post earnings of $3.79 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.40 to $4.15. Zacks’ earnings per share averages are a mean average based on a survey of research analysts that follow Microsoft.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The software giant reported $0.84 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.72 by $0.12. Microsoft had a return on equity of 35.23% and a net margin of 24.56%. The firm had revenue of $24.50 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $23.57 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.76 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.7% compared to the same quarter last year.

A number of equities analysts have recently issued reports on MSFT shares. Morningstar reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Microsoft in a report on Monday, October 16th. Evercore ISI boosted their target price on Microsoft from $93.00 to $106.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, December 8th. UBS Group set a $105.00 target price on Microsoft and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 9th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $88.00 target price (up previously from $85.00) on shares of Microsoft in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Oppenheimer boosted their target price on Microsoft to $115.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 9th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and thirty-two have given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $87.02.

In other Microsoft news, insider Frank H. Brod sold 15,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $84.08, for a total transaction of $1,261,200.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 116,205 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,770,516.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Christopher C. Capossela sold 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $83.44, for a total value of $333,760.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 184,278 shares in the company, valued at $15,376,156.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 45,000 shares of company stock worth $3,759,420. Company insiders own 1.49% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of MSFT. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Microsoft by 4.6% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 564,052,011 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $38,880,105,000 after buying an additional 25,053,413 shares during the last quarter. Capital Research Global Investors raised its holdings in Microsoft by 212.3% in 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 purchasing an additional 47,353,245 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its holdings in Microsoft by 609.4% in 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 purchasing an additional 42,243,011 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc raised its holdings in Microsoft by 2.1% in the 3rd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 38,463,571 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $2,864,881,000 after purchasing an additional 774,549 shares during the period. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its holdings in Microsoft by 3.8% in the 4th quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 31,523,813 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $2,696,444,000 after purchasing an additional 1,148,178 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.19% of the company’s stock.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) traded up $1.79 on Wednesday, hitting $90.14. The stock had a trading volume of 25,618,014 shares, compared to its average volume of 23,300,000. Microsoft has a 1 year low of $62.03 and a 1 year high of $90.79. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.91, a current ratio of 3.12 and a quick ratio of 3.06. The stock has a market cap of $695,390.00, a PE ratio of 30.45, a P/E/G ratio of 2.09 and a beta of 0.99.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 8th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, February 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.42 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 14th. This represents a $1.68 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.86%. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio is 56.76%.

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About Microsoft

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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