Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) is a leading software-infrastructure business based in the US. It opened the day at $288.95 after a previous close of $286.54. During the day the price has varied from a low of $283.8303 to a high of $290.15. The latest price was $286.22 (25 minute delay). Microsoft is listed on the NASDAQ and employs 163,000 staff. All prices are listed in US Dollars.
How to buy shares in Microsoft
- Choose a platform. If you're a beginner, our share-dealing table below can help you choose.
- Open your account. You'll need your ID, bank details and national insurance number.
- Confirm your payment details. You'll need to fund your account with a bank transfer, debit card or credit card.
- Search the platform for stock code: MSFT in this case.
- Research Microsoft shares. The platform should provide the latest information available.
- Buy your Microsoft shares. It's that simple.
What's in this guide?
- Can I buy shares in Microsoft?
- Has coronavirus impacted Microsoft shares?
- Microsoft shares summary
- Compare share dealing platforms
- Is Microsoft stock a buy or sell?
- Performance over time
- Can I short Microsoft shares?
- Is Microsoft suitable for ethical investing?
- Are Microsoft shares over-valued?
- How volatile are Microsoft shares?
- Does Microsoft pay a dividend?
- Have Microsoft shares ever split?
- Other common questions
How has coronavirus impacted Microsoft's share price?
Since the stock market crash that started in February 2020, Microsoft's share price has had significant positive movement.
Its last market close was $250.79, which is 28.79% up on its pre-crash value of $178.59 and 89.25% up on the lowest point reached during the March 2020 crash when the shares fell as low as $132.52.
If you had bought $1,000 worth of Microsoft shares at the start of February 2020, those shares 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 $1,437.03.
Microsoft share price (NASDAQ:MSFT)Use our graph to track the performance of MSFT stocks over time.
Microsoft shares at a glance
|52-week range||$194.8379 - $286.42|
|50-day moving average||$267.2434|
|200-day moving average||$246.8791|
|Wall St. target price||$298.92|
|Dividend yield||$2.19 (0.78%)|
|Earnings per share (TTM)||$7.338|
Fees for buying 5x Microsoft shares with popular platforms
Both exchange rates and share prices fluctuate in real time, so the costs presented here should be considered as a guide only. They do not incorporate stamp duty. Always refer to the platform itself for availability and pricing – which may differ from our information.
|Platform||Platform fee||Min. initial deposit||Trading fee estimate|
|Capital at risk|
|Capital at risk|
|Capital at risk|
|Capital at risk|
|Capital at risk|
|£9.99 per month||No minimum||£23.45
|Capital at risk|
|Capital at risk|
|£36 per year||£20||£22.38
|Capital at risk|
All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you’re not sure which investments are right for you, please seek out a financial adviser. Capital at risk.
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 price performance over time
|1 month (2021-06-28)||6.51%|
|3 months (2021-04-28)||12.44%|
Is Microsoft under- or over-valued?
Valuing a stock is incredibly difficult, and any metric has to be viewed as part of a bigger picture of overall performance. However, analysts commonly use some key metrics to help gauge value.
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 39x. In other words, Microsoft shares trade at around 39x 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.
However, Microsoft's P/E ratio is best considered in relation to those of others within the software-infrastructure industry or those of similar companies.
Microsoft's "price/earnings-to-growth ratio" can be calculated by dividing its P/E ratio by its growth – to give 2.7491. Higher PEG ratios such as this can be interpreted as meaning the shares offer worse value given the current rate of growth.
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.
However, it's sensible to consider Microsoft's PEG ratio in relation to those of similar companies.
Microsoft's EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) is a whopping $75.6 billion (£54.4 billion).
The EBITDA is a measure of a Microsoft's overall financial performance and is widely used to measure a its profitability.
To put that into context you can compare it against similar companies.
|Revenue TTM||$160 billion|
|Operating margin TTM||40.15%|
|Gross profit TTM||$96.9 billion|
|Return on assets TTM||13.51%|
|Return on equity TTM||44.99%|
|Market capitalisation||$2.2 trillion|
TTM: trailing 12 months
How to short and sell Microsoft shares
- Create a CFD or spread betting account.
- Search for the stock code. E.g. "MSFT.US"
- Choose your position size.
- Select "sell" rather than "buy".
- Confirm your position and keep tabs on it. You may wish to set limits on your position.
There are currently 50.8 million Microsoft shares held short by investors – that's known as the "short interest". This figure is 5.6% up from 48.1 million last month.
There are a few different ways that this level of interest in shorting Microsoft shares can be evaluated.
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 23.1 million). Microsoft's SIR currently stands at 2.2. In other words for every 100,000 Microsoft shares traded daily on the market, roughly 2200 shares are currently held short.
To gain some more context, you can compare Microsoft's short interest ratio against those of similar companies.
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 0.0068% of the tradable shares (for every 100,000 tradable Microsoft shares, roughly 7 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.
Find out more about how you can short Microsoft stock.
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.
Total ESG risk score
Microsoft's 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.).
To gain some more context, you can compare Microsoft's total ESG risk score against those of similar companies.
- Apple (AAPL.US): 26.15
- Adobe (ADBE.US): 14.32
- International Business Machines Corporation (IBM.US): 17.23
- Alphabet (GOOGL.US): 20.35
- Oracle Corporation (ORCL.US): 17.18
- Cisco Systems (CSCO.US): 12.85
Microsoft's 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: 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: 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: 3/5
ESG scores also evaluate any incidences of controversy that a company has been involved in. A high-profile company, 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.
Wondering how that compares? Below are the controversy scores of similar companies.
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) summary
|Total ESG score||18.94|
|Total ESG percentile||11.18|
|Environmental score percentile||6|
|Social score percentile||6|
|Governance score percentile||6|
|Level of controversy||3|
Microsoft share dividends
Dividend yield: 0.78% of stock value
Forward annual dividend yield: 0.8% of stock value
Dividend payout ratio: 30.85% of net profits
Microsoft has recently paid out dividends equivalent to 0.78% of its share value annually.
Microsoft has paid out, on average, around 30.85% of recent net profits as dividends. That has enabled analysts to estimate a "forward annual dividend yield" of 0.8% of the current stock value. This means that over a year, based on recent payouts (which are sadly no guarantee of future payouts), shareholders could enjoy a 0.8% return on their shares, in the form of dividend payments. In Microsoft's case, that would currently equate to about $2.19 per share.
While Microsoft's payout ratio might seem fairly standard, it's worth remembering that it may be investing much of the rest of its net profits in future growth.
Microsoft's most recent dividend payout was on 8 September 2021. The latest dividend was paid out to all shareholders who bought their shares by 17 August 2021 (the "ex-dividend date").
Microsoft's dividend yield is perhaps best considered in relation to those of similar companies.
- Apple (AAPL.US): 0.56% (0.61% forward annual dividend yield)
- Adobe (ADBE.US): 0.00% (does not pay dividend)
- International Business Machines Corporation (IBM.US): 4.62% (4.64% forward annual dividend yield)
- Alphabet (GOOGL.US): 0.00% (does not pay dividend)
- Oracle Corporation (ORCL.US): 1.16% (1.43% forward annual dividend yield)
- Cisco Systems (CSCO.US): 2.69% (2.75% forward annual dividend yield)
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.
Share price volatility
Over the last 12 months, Microsoft's shares have ranged in value from as little as $194.8379 up to $286.42. A popular way to gauge a stock's volatility is its "beta".
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 0.7878. This would suggest that Microsoft's shares are less volatile than average (for this exchange).
To put Microsoft's beta into context you can compare it against those of similar companies.
- Apple (AAPL.US): 1.2073
- Adobe (ADBE.US): 0.9527
- International Business Machines Corporation (IBM.US): 1.2258
- Alphabet (GOOGL.US): 1.0109
- Oracle Corporation (ORCL.US): 0.7818
- Cisco Systems (CSCO.US): 0.8955
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