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How to buy Microsoft (MSFT) shares

Learn how to easily invest in Microsoft shares.

Microsoft Corporation is a software-infrastructure business based in the US. Microsoft shares (MSFT) are listed on the NASDAQ and all prices are listed in US Dollars. Microsoft employs 181,000 staff and has a trailing 12-month revenue of around USD$168.1 billion.

How to buy shares in Microsoft

  1. Compare share trading platforms. Use our comparison table to help you find a platform that fits you.
  2. Open your brokerage account. Complete an application with your details.
  3. Confirm your payment details. Fund your account.
  4. Research the stock. Find the stock by name or ticker symbol – MSFT – and research it before deciding if it's a good investment for you.
  5. Purchase now or later. Buy your desired number of shares with a market order or use a limit order to delay your purchase until the stock reaches a desired price.
  6. Check in on your investment. Optimize your portfolio by tracking your stock.

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How has Coronavirus impacted Microsoft's stock price?

Since the stock market crash in March caused by coronavirus, Microsoft's stock price has had significant positive movement.

Its last market close was $304.21, which is 41.29% up on its pre-crash value of $178.59 and 129.56% up on the lowest point reached during the March crash when the stocks fell as low as $132.52.

If you had bought $1,000 worth of Microsoft stocks at the start of February 2020, those stocks would have been worth $779.17 at the bottom of the March crash, and if you held on to them, then as of the last market close they'd be worth $1,743.12.

Is it a good time to buy Microsoft stock?

The technical analysis gauge below displays real-time ratings for the timeframes you select. This is not a recommendation, however. It represents a technical analysis based on the most popular technical indicators: Moving Averages, Oscillators and Pivots. Finder might not concur and takes no responsibility.

Microsoft shares at a glance

Information last updated 2021-10-15.
Latest market close$304.21
52-week range$197.80 - $305.84
50-day moving average $296.25
200-day moving average $273.34
Wall St. target price$336.28
PE ratio 37.7677
Dividend yield $2.24 (0.74%)
Earnings per share (TTM) $8.05

Microsoft stock price (NASDAQ: MSFT)

Use our graph to track the performance of MSFT stocks over time.

Microsoft price performance over time

Historical closes compared with the close of $304.21 from 2021-10-15

1 week (2021-10-08) N/A
1 month (2021-09-15) N/A
3 months (2021-07-19) 9.82%
6 months (2021-04-19) 17.57%
1 year (2020-10-19) 42.01%
2 years (2019-10-18) 121.39%
3 years (2018-10-19) 179.97%
5 years (2016-10-19) 428.78%

Is Microsoft under- or over-valued?

Valuing Microsoft stock is incredibly difficult, and any metric has to be viewed as part of a bigger picture of Microsoft's overall performance. However, analysts commonly use some key metrics to help gauge the value of a stock.

Microsoft's P/E ratio

Microsoft's current share price divided by its per-share earnings (EPS) over a 12-month period gives a "trailing price/earnings ratio" of roughly 38x. In other words, Microsoft shares trade at around 38x recent earnings.

That's relatively high compared to, say, the trailing 12-month P/E ratio for the NASDAQ 100 at the end of 2019 (27.29). The high P/E ratio could mean that investors are optimistic about the outlook for the shares or simply that they're over-valued.

Microsoft's PEG ratio

Microsoft's "price/earnings-to-growth ratio" can be calculated by dividing its P/E ratio by its growth – to give 3.0878. A low ratio can be interpreted as meaning the shares offer better value, while a higher ratio can be interpreted as meaning the shares offer worse value.

The PEG ratio provides a broader view than just the P/E ratio, as it gives more insight into Microsoft's future profitability. By accounting for growth, it could also help you if you're comparing the share prices of multiple high-growth companies.

Microsoft's EBITDA

Microsoft's EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) is $80.8 billion.

The EBITDA is a measure of a Microsoft's overall financial performance and is widely used to measure a its profitability.

Microsoft financials

Revenue TTM $168.1 billion
Operating margin TTM 41.6%
Gross profit TTM $115.9 billion
Return on assets TTM 13.76%
Return on equity TTM 47.08%
Profit margin 36.45%
Book value $18.88
Market capitalisation $2.3 trillion

TTM: trailing 12 months

Shorting Microsoft shares

There are currently 47.2 million Microsoft shares held short by investors – that's known as Microsoft's "short interest". This figure is 6.7% up from 44.2 million last month.

There are a few different ways that this level of interest in shorting Microsoft shares can be evaluated.

Microsoft's "short interest ratio" (SIR)

Microsoft's "short interest ratio" (SIR) is the quantity of Microsoft shares currently shorted divided by the average quantity of Microsoft shares traded daily (recently around 23.7 million). Microsoft's SIR currently stands at 1.99. In other words for every 100,000 Microsoft shares traded daily on the market, roughly 1990 shares are currently held short.

However Microsoft's short interest can also be evaluated against the total number of Microsoft shares, or, against the total number of tradable Microsoft shares (the shares that aren't held by "insiders" or major long-term shareholders – also known as the "float"). In this case Microsoft's short interest could be expressed as 0.01% of the outstanding shares (for every 100,000 Microsoft shares in existence, roughly 10 shares are currently held short) or 0.0063% of the tradable shares (for every 100,000 tradable Microsoft shares, roughly 6 shares are currently held short).

Such a low SIR usually points to an optimistic outlook for the share price, with fewer people currently willing to bet against Microsoft.

Microsoft's environmental, social and governance track record

Environmental, social and governance (known as ESG) criteria are a set of three factors used to measure the sustainability and social impact of companies like Microsoft.

When it comes to ESG scores, lower is better, and lower scores are generally associated with lower risk for would-be investors.

Microsoft's total ESG risk score

Total ESG risk: 18.94

Socially conscious investors use ESG scores to screen how an investment aligns with their worldview, and Microsoft's overall score of 18.94 (as at 12/31/2018) is excellent – landing it in it in the 11st percentile of companies rated in the same sector.

ESG scores are increasingly used to estimate the level of risk a company like Microsoft is exposed to within the areas of "environmental" (carbon footprint, resource use etc.), "social" (health and safety, human rights etc.), and "governance" (anti-corruption, tax transparency etc.).

Microsoft's environmental score

Environmental score: 2.97/100

Microsoft's environmental score of 2.97 puts it squarely in the 6th percentile of companies rated in the same sector. This could suggest that Microsoft is a leader in its sector terms of its environmental impact, and exposed to a lower level of risk.

Microsoft's social score

Social score: 11.87/100

Microsoft's social score of 11.87 puts it squarely in the 6th percentile of companies rated in the same sector. This could suggest that Microsoft is a leader in its sector when it comes to taking good care of its workforce and the communities it impacts.

Microsoft's governance score

Governance score: 6.59/100

Microsoft's governance score puts it squarely in the 6th percentile of companies rated in the same sector. That could suggest that Microsoft is a leader in its sector when it comes to responsible management and strategy, and exposed to a lower level of risk.

Microsoft's controversy score

Controversy score: 3/5

ESG scores also evaluate any incidences of controversy that a company has been involved in. Microsoft scored a 3 out of 5 for controversy – a middle-of-the-table result reflecting that Microsoft hasn't always managed to keep its nose clean.

Microsoft share dividends

28%

Dividend payout ratio: 28.11% of net profits

Recently Microsoft has paid out, on average, around 28.11% of net profits as dividends. That has enabled analysts to estimate a "forward annual dividend yield" of 0.82% of the current stock value. This means that over a year, based on recent payouts (which are sadly no guarantee of future payouts), Microsoft shareholders could enjoy a 0.82% return on their shares, in the form of dividend payments. In Microsoft's case, that would currently equate to about $2.24 per share.

While Microsoft's payout ratio might seem fairly standard, it's worth remembering that Microsoft may be investing much of the rest of its net profits in future growth.

Microsoft's most recent dividend payout was on 8 December 2021. The latest dividend was paid out to all shareholders who bought their shares by 16 November 2021 (the "ex-dividend date").

Have Microsoft's shares ever split?

Microsoft's shares were split on a 2:1 basis on 17 February 2003. So if you had owned 1 share the day before before the split, the next day you'd have owned 2 shares. This wouldn't directly have changed the overall worth of your Microsoft shares – just the quantity. However, indirectly, the new 50% lower share price could have impacted the market appetite for Microsoft shares which in turn could have impacted Microsoft's share price.

Microsoft share price volatility

Over the last 12 months, Microsoft's shares have ranged in value from as little as $197.8049 up to $305.84. A popular way to gauge a stock's volatility is its "beta".

MSFT.US volatility(beta: 0.8)Avg. volatility(beta: 1.00)LowHigh

Beta is a measure of a share's volatility in relation to the market. The market (NASDAQ average) beta is 1, while Microsoft's is 0.8026. This would suggest that Microsoft's shares are less volatile than average (for this exchange).

Microsoft overview

Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses, and supports software, services, devices, and solutions worldwide. Its Productivity and Business Processes segment offers Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, Office 365 Security and Compliance, and Skype for Business, as well as related Client Access Licenses (CAL); Skype, Outlook. com, OneDrive, and LinkedIn; and Dynamics 365, a set of cloud-based and on-premises business solutions for organizations and enterprise divisions. Its Intelligent Cloud segment licenses SQL, Windows Servers, Visual Studio, System Center, and related CALs; GitHub that provides a collaboration platform and code hosting service for developers; and Azure, a cloud platform. It also offers support services and Microsoft consulting services to assist customers in developing, deploying, and managing Microsoft server and desktop solutions; and training and certification on Microsoft products. Its More Personal Computing segment provides Windows original equipment manufacturer (OEM) licensing and other non-volume licensing of the Windows operating system; Windows Commercial, such as volume licensing of the Windows operating system, Windows cloud services, and other Windows commercial offerings; patent licensing; Windows Internet of Things; and MSN advertising. It also offers Surface, PC accessories, PCs, tablets, gaming and entertainment consoles, and other devices; Gaming, including Xbox hardware, and Xbox content and services; video games and third-party video game royalties; and Search, including Bing and Microsoft advertising.

Frequently asked questions

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