Shift to cloud paying off in two ways

Article Excerpt

In 2014, Microsoft shifted its focus from its traditional desktop software to cloud-computing services that lets its clients access software and store data files online for an ongoing subscription fee. Since then, the stock has soared over 140%. As a result, its dividend yields just 1.8%. However, rising earnings from Microsoft’s cloud operations should continue to push up its stock price and dividends. MICROSOFT CORP. $102 (Nasdaq symbol MSFT; High-Growth Dividend Payer Portfolio, Manufacturing & Industry sector; Shares outstanding: 7.7 billion; Market cap: $785.4 billion; Dividend yield: 1.8%; Dividend Sustainability Rating: Highest; www.microsoft.com) is the world’s largest software company. Founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen Microsoft first sold shares to the public in March 1986 at $0.07 a share (adjusted for splits) Company has paid dividends continuously since 2004 Its Windows operating system powers about 80% of the world’s personal computers. Microsoft’s other main product—its Office suite, which includes a word processor (Word) and Microsoft’s other main product—its Office suite, which includes a..

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