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MICROSOFT (NASDAQ:MSFT) Stock Overview- All You Need to Know About Microsoft Corp

TABLE OF CONTENTS

MICROSOFT (NASDAQ:MSFT) Stock Overview- All You Need to Know About Microsoft Corp

MICROSOFT (NASDAQ:MSFT) Stock Overview- All You Need to Know About Microsoft Corp

Vantage Updated Updated Thu, 2023 April 6 08:07

Key Points

  • Founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Microsoft emerged as a leading force in the technology industry, ultimately becoming the world’s largest personal software company by the late 1980s, driven by innovation and the evolution of modern operating systems.
  • The company’s business segments include productivity software, video gaming, communications, computing hardware and professional networking.
  • With the boom of generative AI, Microsoft quickly became a key player in the AI industry with its launch of CoPilot and seamless integrations across various domains.

About Microsoft Corp

History of the company

As one of the world’s leading technology companies, Microsoft Corp’s history is marked by several significant milestones and innovations in the software and hardware industry.

The company was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen on 4 April, 1975, initially focusing on developing and selling a version of the BASIC programming language interpreter for the Altair 8800, an early personal computer [1].

In 1980, Microsoft was approached by computer maker IBM to create an operating system for IBM’s Personal Computer (PC). Gates created MS-DOS (based on 86-DOS, created by Tim Paterson) and licensed it to IBM and other computer companies. This shrewd move saw MS-DOS become widely popular and laid the foundation for Microsoft’s eventual domination of the operating system market [2].

Following the success of MS-DOS, Microsoft went on to release Windows in 1985, providing a graphical user interface for computer users. This was a milestone in the evolution of modern operating systems; Windows paved the way for an affordable desktop computing system that helped usher in the era of PC use in homes [3]

Four years later, in March 1986, Microsoft went public, raising USD$61 million in an IPO [4]. By the late 1980s, Microsoft had become the largest personal software company in the world [5]

Microsoft Corp’s Share Price 2024

Here’s a look at how Microsoft Corp has been performing over the past year:   

Chart 1: Microsoft share price performance for the past year

Microsoft’s stock has demonstrated remarkable performance, steadily climbing on an uptrend with a nearly 80% gain since the outset of 2023. 

Beginning the year of 2023 at $239.58, the stock showcased significant growth, reaching $359.49 by 18 July 2023. Despite a downturn to $312.14 by late September 2023, the stock has rebounded strongly, currently standing at $425.23 as of 20 March 2024, marking its highest value to date [6].

Business segments 

Microsoft has added several segments to its core business of personal computing software.

The company added its productivity software segment in 1990 with the launch of Microsoft Office, a productivity suite that at the time consisted of just three software: Word, Excel and PowerPoint [7]. Office would go on to be a dominant product line in the productivity suites sector, rivalled only by Google’s G Suite [8].

Other notable business segments include video gaming (Xbox, launched 2001), communications (Skype, acquired 2011), computing hardware (Surface, launched 2012) and professional networking (LinkedIn, acquired 2016) [9]

Microsoft is headquartered in Redmond, Washington, United States, and employs a total workforce of around 221,000. As of March 2024, the company has a total market cap of USD$3.16 trillion, marking an impressive 50% growth compared to the previous year. This achievement cements its status as one of the most successful companies of our times [10].

About the stock MSFT

MSFT trading information

  • Primary exchange: NASDAQ
  • Ticker: MSFT
  • Country: US
  • Currency: USD
  • Trading hours:
    • Main: 9.30am to 4pm ET, Mon to Fri
    • Pre-market: 4am to 9.30am
    • After-market: 4pm to 8pm 

When was MSFT listed? 

MSFT was listed on the NASDAQ on 13 March 1986 at a price of $21 per stock [11]. Adjusted for stock splits, the price of the stock was at $0.073 per stock. 

At the time of writing, MSFT is trading at $425.23, representing a return of 5814x since its IPO. This is also the stock’s highest price to date [12].

Stock splits

MSFT has undergone nine stock splits since it started trading [13]. The total number of MSFT stocks outstanding is estimated to be 7.451 billion [14]

DateStock Split
February 20032 for 1
March 19992 for 1
February 19982 for 1
December 19962 for 1
May 19942 for 1
June 19923 for 2
June 19913 for 2
April 1990 2 for 1
September 19872 for 1

Dividends

MSFT is a dividend-paying stock. The company pays out dividends to shareholders once every quarter. In a press release dated 14 March 2023, the company declared a quarterly dividend of $0.68 per share [15]. Subsequently, in the final quarter of 2023, Microsoft augmented their dividend to $0.75 per share [16].

Latest developments investors should note 

Microsoft to launch AI security tool to track hackers [17]

On 1 April 2024, Microsoft introduced artificial intelligence tools aimed at assisting cybersecurity professionals in summarising suspicious incidents and uncovering tactics used by hackers to obscure their intentions. 

According to Andrew Conway, Microsoft’s vice president of security marketing, the Copilot for Security, which was unveiled about a year ago, has been undergoing trials with various corporate clients, including BP Plc and Dow Chemical Co., and now boasts “hundreds of partners and customers.” 

Clients will be charged based on usage, much like the payment model for the company’s Azure cloud services.

Microsoft acquires AI startup Inflection [18][19]

Microsoft’s recent announcement left the tech community in surprise as it revealed that Inflection’s co-founders, Mustafa Suleyman and Karén Simonyan, along with a majority of its team, would be joining Microsoft. Suleyman is slated to take the helm of Microsoft’s consumer AI division.

Inflection, valued at $4 billion, captured attention for its endeavours to compete with ChatGPT through its chatbot Pi after securing a significant $1.3 billion during its fundraising round in 2023. The company’s chatbot emerged as a contender in the AI space, challenging established players.

The acquisition of Inflection’s talent pool, led by Microsoft director Reid Hoffman, signifies a strategic move by the company to bolster its AI capabilities while navigating potential antitrust scrutiny. 

By incorporating Inflection’s staff rather than acquiring the company outright, Microsoft may mitigate regulatory concerns while enhancing its position in the AI arms race. 

Microsoft’s hiring of OpenAI co-founders Sam Altman and Greg Brockham also reinforces Microsoft’s competitive edge, preventing other major technology companies from poaching their expertise and bolstering Wall Street’s positive outlook on Microsoft’s future.

However, this trend raises broader questions about the impact of consolidation on innovation and competition in the AI industry, prompting scrutiny from antitrust regulators.

Trade MSFT with Vantage 

Vantage offers convenient and secure trading of MSFT and other leading stocks. With share Contracts for Difference (CFDs), traders can access opportunities offered by natural market volatility, with potential trading opportunities from stock price movements in all directions. 
Trade MSFT with zero commission using Vantage share CFDs. Sign up and start trading today!

References

  1. “Microsoft is born – Microsoft”. https://news.microsoft.com/announcement/microsoft-is-born/. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  2. “A Quick Look At The 30-Year History Of MS DOS – Business Insider”. https://www.businessinsider.com/history-of-dos-2011-7. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  3. “First version of Windows announced – Microsoft”. https://news.microsoft.com/announcement/first-version-of-windows-announced/. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  4. “Microsoft goes public – Microsoft”. https://news.microsoft.com/announcement/microsoft-goes-public/. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  5. “Microsoft is born – Microsoft”. https://news.microsoft.com/announcement/microsoft-is-born/. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  6. “Looking back at 10 years of Microsoft 365 making history – Microsoft”. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365-life-hacks/stories/looking-back-ten-years-microsoft-365. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  7. “Number of Office 365 users worldwide as of February 2023, by leading country – Statista”. https://www.statista.com/statistics/983321/worldwide-office-365-user-numbers-by-country/. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  8. “Facts About Microsoft – Microsoft”. https://news.microsoft.com/facts-about-microsoft/. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  9. “Microsoft Corp – Google Finance”. https://www.google.com/finance/quote/MSFT:NASDAQ?window=MAX. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  10. “ Frequently Asked Questions – Microsoft”. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/investor/faq.aspx. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  11. “Microsoft Corp – Google Finance”. https://www.google.com/finance/quote/MSFT:NASDAQ?window=MAX. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  12. “Stock split history for Microsoft (MSFT) – Companies Market Cap”. https://companiesmarketcap.com/microsoft/stock-splits. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  13. “Number of shares outstanding for Microsoft (MSFT) – Companies Market Cap”. https://companiesmarketcap.com/microsoft/shares-outstanding/. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  14. “Microsoft announces new lead independent director and quarterly dividend – Microsoft”. https://news.microsoft.com/2023/03/14/microsoft-announces-new-lead-independent-director-and-quarterly-dividend/. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  15. “Earnings Release FY23 Q2 – Microsoft”. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/Investor/earnings/FY-2023-Q2/press-release-webcast. Accessed 5 April 2023.
  16. “German antitrust watchdog probes Microsoft’s market power – Financial Times”. https://www.ft.com/content/d55e892b-7def-4389-9bb2-7de48bf42c45. Accessed 5 April 2023.
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