This top old-school technology stock has posted all-time highs this year and has a massive $138.6 billion sitting on the balance sheet. Microsoft Inc. (NASDAQ: MSFT) continues to find an increasing amount of support from portfolio managers, who have added the software giant to their holdings at an increasingly faster pace all of this year and last.
Numerous Wall Street analysts feel that Microsoft has become a clear number two in the public or hyper-scale cloud infrastructure market with Azure, which is the company’s cloud computing platform offering. Some have flagged Azure as a solid rival to Amazon’s AWS service. Analysts also maintain that Microsoft is discounting Azure for large enterprises, such that Azure may be cheaper than AWS for larger users. The cloud was big in the recent earnings report, which was outstanding.
And 78% of the managers own the software giant, which is quickly gaining traction in the cloud and may be one of the safest bets when it comes to owning technology.
Microsoft shareholders currently receive a 1.75% dividend. The shares recently traded at $95.55, while the 52-week range is $65.14 to $97.24. The consensus price objective was last seen at $105.21.
This top credit card issuer is becoming a huge leader in digital payments. Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) operates the world’s largest retail electronic payments network. The company provides processing services and payment product platforms, including consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, that are offered under Visa and related brands. According to Nilson estimates, the company is the largest global credit network (as measured by volume) and the second largest global debit network.
Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead of time with prepaid or pay later with credit products.
This is the only company in the top five stocks that managers own that is not in the technology sector. It remains well-liked across Wall Street, as 77.9% of managers have shares of the company.
Visa shareholders receive just a 0.68% dividend. The posted consensus price target is $140.09. The shares were last seen trading at $124.10, and the 52-week trading range is $89.90 to $126.28.
This technology giant has been hit recently on concerns that the iPhone X is not the huge home run that was expected. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) designs, manufactures and markets consumer electronics and computers, and it has developed its own proprietary iOS and Mac OS X operating systems and related software platform/ecosystem.
Revenues are principally derived from the iPhone line of smartphones, hardware sales of the Macintosh family of notebook and desktop computers, iPad tablets and iPod portable digital music players. The company also realizes revenue from software, peripherals, digital media and services.
It’s no surprise that this technology giant is in the top five, as 77.6% of managers own the stock. One of those managers is the legendary Warren Buffet, who owns a reported 165 million shares.
Apple shareholders are paid a 1.46% dividend. The consensus price target is $193.02, but the stock traded at $168.85. It has a 52-week range of $89.90 to $126.28.
While these top holdings probably should come as no surprise, they make sense as they are huge, dominate much of their specific business lines, are very liquid and look to continue to maintain their growth trajectories for the foreseeable future.