Microsoft Co. to Post Q4 2020 Earnings of $1.36 Per Share, Jefferies Financial Group Forecasts (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) – Equities research analysts at Jefferies Financial Group increased their Q4 2020 earnings per share estimates for Microsoft in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, June 25th, according to Zacks Investment Research. Jefferies Financial Group analyst J. Difucci now forecasts that the software giant will earn $1.36 per share for the quarter, up from their prior estimate of $1.31. Jefferies Financial Group currently has a “Underperform” rating and a $90.00 target price on the stock. Jefferies Financial Group also issued estimates for Microsoft’s Q1 2021 earnings at $1.30 EPS, Q3 2021 earnings at $1.42 EPS and FY2021 earnings at $5.51 EPS.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The software giant reported $1.14 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.00 by $0.14. Microsoft had a net margin of 28.58% and a return on equity of 39.34%. The firm had revenue of $30.57 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $29.86 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.95 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 14.0% compared to the same quarter last year.

A number of other equities analysts also recently weighed in on MSFT. Oppenheimer boosted their price target on shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill from $400.00 to $525.00 and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a report on Thursday, April 25th. Barclays upped their price objective on shares of T. Rowe Price Group from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Thursday, April 25th. Morgan Stanley dropped their price objective on shares of RPC from $12.00 to $9.50 and set an “underperform” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, April 25th. Bank of America raised shares of Air Products & Chemicals from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and upped their price objective for the company from $170.00 to $215.00 in a report on Thursday, April 25th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $760.00 price objective (up from $755.00) on shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill in a report on Thursday, April 25th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, twenty-six have assigned a buy rating and three have issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $139.62.

Shares of NASDAQ MSFT traded up $0.15 during trading on Wednesday, hitting $136.42. The stock had a trading volume of 25,284,150 shares, compared to its average volume of 25,704,270. The company’s fifty day moving average price is $133.48. The company has a quick ratio of 2.93, a current ratio of 2.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.70. The firm has a market capitalization of $1,050.42 billion, a P/E ratio of 35.16, a PEG ratio of 2.46 and a beta of 1.21. Microsoft has a 12 month low of $93.96 and a 12 month high of $139.54.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 12th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 15th will be given a dividend of $0.46 per share. This represents a $1.84 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.35%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 14th. Microsoft’s payout ratio is currently 47.42%.

In other news, EVP Kathleen T. Hogan sold 15,947 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $133.17, for a total transaction of $2,123,661.99. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 202,518 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $26,969,322.06. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, President Bradford L. Smith sold 192,300 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, April 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $130.34, for a total value of $25,064,382.00. Following the sale, the president now directly owns 754,442 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $98,333,970.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 216,247 shares of company stock worth $28,204,754 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 1.38% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Quantamental Technologies LLC purchased a new position in Microsoft during the fourth quarter valued at $26,000. Highwater Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in Microsoft during the fourth quarter valued at $27,000. Centaurus Financial Inc. lifted its position in Microsoft by 21.1% during the first quarter. Centaurus Financial Inc. now owns 3,222 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $27,000 after buying an additional 561 shares during the period. Mackey Komara & Dankovich LLC bought a new position in shares of Microsoft during the fourth quarter valued at $30,000. Finally, Ayalon Holdings Ltd. bought a new position in shares of Microsoft during the fourth quarter valued at $41,000. 72.05% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

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