Microsoft Co. (MSFT) Stake Lowered by Clarkston Capital Partners LLC

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Clarkston Capital Partners LLC reduced its stake in Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 7.2% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 355,156 shares of the software giant’s stock after selling 27,550 shares during the period. Microsoft accounts for 1.4% of Clarkston Capital Partners LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 28th largest position. Clarkston Capital Partners LLC’s holdings in Microsoft were worth $36,073,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Other hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management LLC grew its holdings in Microsoft by 2.7% in the third quarter. Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management LLC now owns 3,847 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $430,000 after purchasing an additional 102 shares during the period. Conservest Capital Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in Microsoft by 5.2% in the fourth quarter. Conservest Capital Advisors Inc. now owns 2,082 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $211,000 after purchasing an additional 102 shares during the period. Beaton Management Co. Inc. grew its holdings in Microsoft by 0.8% in the third quarter. Beaton Management Co. Inc. now owns 15,492 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $1,772,000 after purchasing an additional 120 shares during the period. Paragon Wealth Strategies LLC grew its holdings in Microsoft by 5.2% in the fourth quarter. Paragon Wealth Strategies LLC now owns 2,553 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $256,000 after purchasing an additional 127 shares during the period. Finally, Northside Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in Microsoft by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. Northside Capital Management LLC now owns 24,485 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $2,487,000 after purchasing an additional 138 shares during the period. 72.89% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

A number of research analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Goldman Sachs Group restated a “buy” rating and set a $131.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Thursday. Wedbush restated an “outperform” rating and set a $150.00 price objective (up previously from $140.00) on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Thursday. KeyCorp restated a “buy” rating and set a $141.00 price objective (up previously from $125.00) on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Wednesday. Barclays increased their price objective on shares of Microsoft from $120.00 to $132.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, April 12th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Microsoft from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, April 1st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating, thirty have issued a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $125.00.

In other news, CEO Satya Nadella sold 267,466 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $106.01, for a total transaction of $28,354,070.66. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,746,854 shares in the company, valued at approximately $185,183,992.54. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CMO Christopher C. Capossela sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $110.46, for a total transaction of $552,300.00. Following the sale, the chief marketing officer now owns 156,866 shares in the company, valued at $17,327,418.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 333,667 shares of company stock worth $35,657,016 over the last 90 days. Insiders own 1.38% of the company’s stock.

Shares of MSFT stock opened at $123.37 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $949.92 billion, a PE ratio of 31.80, a PEG ratio of 2.22 and a beta of 1.22. Microsoft Co. has a one year low of $90.28 and a one year high of $123.52. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82, a quick ratio of 3.08 and a current ratio of 3.12.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 30th. The software giant reported $1.10 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.09 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $32.47 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $32.53 billion. Microsoft had a net margin of 28.31% and a return on equity of 39.52%. The company’s revenue was up 12.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.96 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that Microsoft Co. will post 4.41 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 13th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, May 15th will be given a dividend of $0.46 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, May 15th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.49%. Microsoft’s payout ratio is 47.42%.

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Microsoft Profile

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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