Legal & General Group Plc Acquires 355,063 Shares of Microsoft Co. (MSFT)

Legal & General Group Plc raised its holdings in shares of Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 1.1% during the third quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 33,422,395 shares of the software giant’s stock after acquiring an additional 355,063 shares during the period. Microsoft comprises approximately 2.7% of Legal & General Group Plc’s portfolio, making the stock its 2nd biggest holding. Legal & General Group Plc owned about 0.43% of Microsoft worth $3,822,534,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the company. Northern Trust Corp grew its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 0.3% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 93,397,574 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $9,209,934,000 after purchasing an additional 258,761 shares during the last quarter. Swiss National Bank grew its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 2.8% in the second quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 24,451,870 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $2,411,199,000 after purchasing an additional 673,300 shares during the last quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 2.5% in the third quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 23,889,840 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $2,732,281,000 after purchasing an additional 592,064 shares during the last quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 2.4% in the third quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 18,769,302 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $2,146,645,000 after purchasing an additional 444,758 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Magellan Asset Management Ltd grew its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 0.4% in the second quarter. Magellan Asset Management Ltd now owns 14,344,650 shares of the software giant’s stock worth $1,414,526,000 after purchasing an additional 56,197 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.12% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Microsoft stock opened at $115.91 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 3.08, a current ratio of 3.12 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82. The firm has a market cap of $892.48 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.87, a PEG ratio of 2.09 and a beta of 1.21. Microsoft Co. has a 12 month low of $87.08 and a 12 month high of $117.25.

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 consensus estimate of $1.09 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $32.47 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $32.53 billion. Microsoft had a return on equity of 39.52% and a net margin of 28.31%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.96 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Microsoft Co. will post 4.41 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 13th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, May 15th will be given a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.59%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, May 15th. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio is currently 47.42%.

A number of analysts recently commented on the company. Credit Suisse Group set a $125.00 price target on Microsoft and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, November 19th. Zacks Investment Research raised Microsoft from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $118.00 price target for the company in a research note on Thursday, January 24th. Macquarie set a $125.00 price target on Microsoft and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, November 19th. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $130.00 price target on shares of Microsoft in a research note on Monday, December 10th. Finally, Oppenheimer set a $127.00 price target on Microsoft and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, November 19th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, thirty-one have assigned a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $122.51.

In other news, insider Jean Philippe Courtois sold 28,147 shares of Microsoft stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.14, for a total value of $3,043,816.58. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 497,162 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $53,763,098.68. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Satya Nadella sold 267,466 shares of Microsoft stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $106.01, for a total value of $28,354,070.66. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,746,854 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $185,183,992.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 333,667 shares of company stock valued at $35,657,016 in the last three months. Insiders own 1.38% of the company’s stock.

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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.

Further Reading: Sell-Side Analysts

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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