Microsoft Co. (MSFT) Shares Sold by Welch & Forbes LLC

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Welch & Forbes LLC trimmed its position in Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) by 1.8% in the third quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 877,537 shares of the software giant’s stock after selling 16,390 shares during the quarter. Microsoft makes up approximately 2.4% of Welch & Forbes LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 5th largest position. Welch & Forbes LLC’s holdings in Microsoft were worth $100,364,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of MSFT. Progressive Investment Management Corp increased its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 0.7% during the 2nd quarter. Progressive Investment Management Corp now owns 71,588 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $7,022,000 after acquiring an additional 468 shares during the last quarter. Green Square Capital LLC increased its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 3.1% during the 2nd quarter. Green Square Capital LLC now owns 15,502 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $1,529,000 after acquiring an additional 470 shares during the last quarter. BKS Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 4.6% during the 2nd quarter. BKS Advisors LLC now owns 10,816 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $1,067,000 after acquiring an additional 477 shares during the last quarter. Ellenbecker Investment Group increased its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 7.6% during the 3rd quarter. Ellenbecker Investment Group now owns 6,821 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $780,000 after acquiring an additional 480 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Chatham Capital Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Microsoft by 9.3% during the 2nd quarter. Chatham Capital Group Inc. now owns 5,689 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $561,000 after acquiring an additional 482 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 71.64% of the company’s stock.

Shares of MSFT stock opened at $102.80 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 2.85, a current ratio of 2.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88. Microsoft Co. has a 12 month low of $83.83 and a 12 month high of $116.18. The company has a market capitalization of $802.86 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.49, a PEG ratio of 1.89 and a beta of 1.24.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 24th. The software giant reported $1.14 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ 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 company had revenue of $29.08 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $27.92 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.84 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 18.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Microsoft Co. will post 4.43 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 14th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, February 21st will be given a $0.46 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 20th. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.79%. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio is currently 47.42%.

In other Microsoft news, EVP Christopher C. Capossela sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $105.50, for a total value of $422,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 169,931 shares in the company, valued at approximately $17,927,720.50. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Frank H. Brod sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $107.18, for a total value of $214,360.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 64,676 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,931,973.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 279,918 shares of company stock valued at $30,102,412 in the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 1.38% of the company’s stock.

A number of research analysts have recently commented on MSFT shares. Credit Suisse Group set a $125.00 price objective on Microsoft and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Sunday, December 23rd. Jefferies Financial Group reissued a “sell” rating and set a $75.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft in a report on Monday, November 19th. Oppenheimer set a $127.00 price objective on Microsoft and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, October 1st. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a “buy” rating and set a $130.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft in a report on Thursday, September 27th. Finally, Macquarie reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Microsoft in a report on Monday, October 15th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating, thirty-three have given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the stock. Microsoft currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $121.88.

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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 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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