Traders Buy Shares of Microsoft (MSFT) on Weakness After Insider Selling

Investors bought shares of Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) on weakness during trading hours on Tuesday after an insider sold shares in the company. $1,386.89 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $698.11 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $688.78 million into the stock. Of all equities tracked, Microsoft had the highest net in-flow for the day. Microsoft traded down ($3.57) for the day and closed at $108.52Specifically, CEO Satya Nadella sold 203,418 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $106.68, for a total transaction of $21,700,632.24. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 1,014,247 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $108,199,869.96. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CMO Christopher C. Capossela sold 23,337 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $109.22, for a total value of $2,548,867.14. Following the transaction, the chief marketing officer now directly owns 190,570 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $20,814,055.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 331,080 shares of company stock valued at $35,679,993 in the last ninety days. Company insiders own 1.38% of the company’s stock.

Several research analysts recently weighed in on MSFT shares. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $130.00 target price on shares of Microsoft in a research note on Tuesday, August 28th. Credit Suisse Group set a $125.00 target price on Microsoft and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, August 27th. Oppenheimer reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $120.00 target price on shares of Microsoft in a research note on Monday, August 20th. Goldman Sachs Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $123.00 target price on shares of Microsoft in a research note on Monday, August 20th. Finally, Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $117.00 target price on shares of Microsoft in a research note on Friday, August 10th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating, thirty-three have issued a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $121.88.

The firm has a market cap of $853.83 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.97, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.01 and a beta of 1.25. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88, a current ratio of 2.92 and a quick ratio of 2.85.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, October 24th. The software giant reported $1.14 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.18. Microsoft had a return on equity of 39.86% and a net margin of 16.38%. The business had revenue of $29.08 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $27.92 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.84 earnings per share. Microsoft’s revenue was up 18.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts predict that Microsoft Co. will post 4.43 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 14th. Investors of record on Thursday, February 21st will be paid a $0.46 dividend. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.70%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 20th. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio is currently 47.42%.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in MSFT. Ceredex Value Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Microsoft in the 1st quarter worth about $73,850,000. ProVise Management Group LLC lifted its stake in Microsoft by 5.3% in the 1st quarter. ProVise Management Group LLC now owns 43,673 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $3,986,000 after acquiring an additional 2,208 shares in the last quarter. Rockefeller Capital Management L.P. purchased a new stake in Microsoft in the 1st quarter worth about $162,221,000. Windsor Group LTD lifted its stake in Microsoft by 3.6% in the 1st quarter. Windsor Group LTD now owns 21,700 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $1,981,000 after acquiring an additional 764 shares in the last quarter. Finally, KAMES CAPITAL plc raised its stake in shares of Microsoft by 9.2% during the 1st quarter. KAMES CAPITAL plc now owns 386,537 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $35,174,000 after purchasing an additional 32,655 shares in the last quarter. 71.90% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Microsoft Company Profile (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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 for businesses, 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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