Stock Traders Buy Large Volume of Microsoft Corporation Call Options (MSFT)

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) was the target of unusually large options trading on Thursday. Stock traders purchased 163,423 call options on the stock. This is an increase of 364% compared to the average daily volume of 35,240 call options.

Several equities analysts recently weighed in on the company. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and issued a $80.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $73.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research note on Sunday, July 9th. Cowen and Company reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $80.00 price objective (up from $78.00) on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a research note on Saturday, July 22nd. Pacific Crest reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 target price (up previously from $70.00) on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a report on Friday, April 28th. Finally, William Blair restated an “outperform” rating on shares of Microsoft Corporation in a report on Friday, April 28th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and twenty-nine have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $76.26.

In other news, EVP Christopher C. Capossela sold 4,927 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.75, for a total transaction of $338,731.25. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 214,080 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $14,718,000. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Jean Philippe Courtois sold 26,165 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $69.00, for a total value of $1,805,385.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 570,843 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $39,388,167. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 7,057,855 shares of company stock valued at $512,044,578. Insiders own 2.99% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. United Bank acquired a new position in shares of Microsoft Corporation during the fourth quarter worth about $1,869,000. Tandem Investment Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Microsoft Corporation during the fourth quarter worth about $4,964,000. Teza Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Microsoft Corporation during the fourth quarter worth about $289,000. TCW Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 4.7% in the fourth quarter. TCW Group Inc. now owns 3,991,097 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $248,007,000 after buying an additional 177,684 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Investec Asset Management PTY Ltd boosted its position in shares of Microsoft Corporation by 1.6% in the fourth quarter. Investec Asset Management PTY Ltd now owns 15,719 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $977,000 after buying an additional 253 shares during the last quarter. 72.64% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) traded up 0.12% on Friday, hitting $72.49. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 18,761,491 shares. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $72.16 and a 200-day moving average price of $68.26. The company has a market capitalization of $558.34 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.75 and a beta of 1.01. Microsoft Corporation has a 1-year low of $55.61 and a 1-year high of $74.42.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 20th. The software giant reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.27. Microsoft Corporation had a net margin of 23.57% and a return on equity of 36.81%. The business had revenue of $24.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $24.29 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.69 earnings per share. Microsoft Corporation’s revenue was up 9.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that Microsoft Corporation will post $3.21 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 17th will be paid a dividend of $0.39 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 15th. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.15%. Microsoft Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 57.78%.

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Microsoft Corporation Company Profile

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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