Covington Investment Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm purchased 78,903 shares of the software giant’s stock, valued at approximately $7,201,000. Microsoft accounts for about 2.3% of Covington Investment Advisors Inc.’s portfolio, making the stock its 5th biggest position.

Other large investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. HC Financial Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in Microsoft during the fourth quarter valued at about $2,206,000. American Century Companies Inc. raised its holdings in Microsoft by 4.1% during the first quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 14,905,083 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $1,360,387,000 after acquiring an additional 590,793 shares during the period. Westpac Banking Corp raised its holdings in Microsoft by 11.5% during the first quarter. Westpac Banking Corp now owns 1,048,219 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $95,671,000 after acquiring an additional 107,867 shares during the period. Columbus Circle Investors grew its position in shares of Microsoft by 16.4% during the first quarter. Columbus Circle Investors now owns 1,229,776 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $112,242,000 after purchasing an additional 173,446 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Middleton & Co Inc MA grew its position in shares of Microsoft by 1.9% during the first quarter. Middleton & Co Inc MA now owns 54,511 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $4,976,000 after purchasing an additional 1,038 shares in the last quarter. 72.34% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

MSFT opened at $107.58 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $839.28 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.73, a P/E/G ratio of 2.08 and a beta of 1.18. Microsoft Co. has a 12 month low of $71.70 and a 12 month high of $111.15. The company has a quick ratio of 2.86, a current ratio of 2.90 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 19th. The software giant reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $30.09 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $29.23 billion. Microsoft had a return on equity of 36.69% and a net margin of 15.02%. The firm’s revenue was up 17.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.75 earnings per share. analysts anticipate that Microsoft Co. will post 4.25 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 13th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 16th will be given a $0.42 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 15th. This represents a $1.68 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.56%. Microsoft’s dividend payout ratio is currently 43.30%.

A number of research analysts have recently weighed in on MSFT shares. Atlantic Securities upgraded Microsoft from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, June 25th. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “buy” rating and set a $105.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Monday, April 23rd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded Microsoft from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $94.00 to $110.00 in a research report on Friday, April 27th. Morgan Stanley restated a “buy” rating and set a $130.00 price objective on shares of Microsoft in a research report on Monday, June 11th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Microsoft from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 24th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, thirty-one have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $118.18.

In related news, EVP Christopher C. Capossela sold 10,000 shares of Microsoft stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $100.99, for a total value of $1,009,900.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 158,601 shares in the company, valued at $16,017,114.99. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Satya Nadella sold 328,000 shares of Microsoft stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $109.44, for a total value of $35,896,320.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 778,596 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $85,209,546.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 442,880 shares of company stock valued at $48,304,569. 1.49% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Microsoft Company Profile

Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports software, services, devices, and solutions worldwide. The company operates through Productivity and Business Processes, Intelligent Cloud, and More Personal Computing segments. The 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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