Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Given New $160.00 Price Target at Wells Fargo & Co

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) had its target price upped by Wells Fargo & Co from $145.00 to $160.00 in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning, BenzingaRatingsTable reports. The firm currently has an outperform rating on the software giant’s stock.

A number of other analysts have also weighed in on MSFT. Mizuho upped their target price on shares of Facebook from $210.00 to $230.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, April 25th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Zynerba Pharmaceuticals from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Monday, April 1st. Nomura upped their target price on shares of Visa from $175.00 to $178.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, April 25th. Morgan Stanley cut their target price on shares of RPC from $12.00 to $9.50 and set an underperform rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, April 25th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group set a $131.00 target price on shares of Microsoft and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 24th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, twenty-six have issued a buy rating and three have issued a strong buy rating to the company. Microsoft has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $138.14.

MSFT stock opened at $138.90 on Friday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $132.86. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.70, a current ratio of 2.97 and a quick ratio of 2.93. Microsoft has a fifty-two week low of $93.96 and a fifty-two week high of $139.54. The stock has a market capitalization of $1,064.37 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 35.80, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.50 and a beta of 1.21.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The software giant reported $1.14 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.00 by $0.14. Microsoft had a net margin of 28.58% and a return on equity of 39.34%. The firm had revenue of $30.57 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $29.86 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.95 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 14.0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Microsoft will post 4.59 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 12th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 15th will be issued a $0.46 dividend. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.32%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 14th. Microsoft’s payout ratio is currently 47.42%.

In related news, President Bradford L. Smith sold 192,300 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, April 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $130.34, for a total transaction of $25,064,382.00. Following the completion of the sale, the president now directly owns 754,442 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $98,333,970.28. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Christopher C. Capossela sold 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, May 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $128.87, for a total value of $386,610.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 216,247 shares of company stock valued at $28,204,754 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 1.38% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of MSFT. Lunia Capital LP lifted its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 9,650.2% during the fourth quarter. Lunia Capital LP now owns 17,036,540 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $17,037,000 after purchasing an additional 16,861,809 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc lifted its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 1.6% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 577,877,949 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $66,091,902,000 after purchasing an additional 8,820,439 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley lifted its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 4.8% during the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 60,865,803 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $6,961,221,000 after purchasing an additional 2,796,779 shares during the period. Actiam N.V. acquired a new stake in shares of Microsoft during the fourth quarter worth $117,106,000. Finally, Federated Investors Inc. PA lifted its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 62.1% during the third quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 2,772,764 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $317,121,000 after purchasing an additional 1,062,145 shares during the period. 72.05% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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