Frequently Asked Questions

Microsoft stock

  • A.Microsoft pays a quarterly dividend of $0.56 per share. Read the Dividend FAQ for more information.
  • A.Our common stock ticker symbol is MSFT. Microsoft common shares are traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market.
  • A.Microsoft common shares are traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market. The ticker symbol is MSFT.
  • A.MSN® Money can provide a 15 minute delayed price, as well as other information regarding Microsoft stock.
  • A.Microsoft went public March 13, 1986 at $21.00 per share.
  • A.The offering price was $21.00 per share at the IPO on March 13, 1986.
  • A.You should contact Microsoft's transfer agent, Computershare, by one of these methods:

    • Internet:
    • E-mail:
    • Phone: (800) 285-7772 Option 1
                   (425) 706-4400 Option 1 (International)

    For Written Shareholder Inquiries
    By Mail:

    P.O. Box 505000
    Louisville, KY 40233-5000

    By Overnight/Certified/Registered Delivery
    462 South 4th Street, Suite 1600
    Louisville, KY 40202
    United States of America
  • A.594918104
  • A. The date for the next annual shareholders meeting has yet to be determined.
  • A.The 2020 Annual Shareholders Meeting was held on December 2, 2020. The meeting can be viewed at Listen to the Webcast
  • A.Microsoft no longer offers preferred shares.
  • A.As of April 22, 2021, there were 7,531,574,551 shares outstanding.

Microsoft Corporate

Dividends for shareholders

  • A.Computershare, Microsoft's transfer agent, administers a direct stock purchase plan and a dividend reinvestment plan for the company. To find out more about these programs you may contact Computershare directly at (800) 285-7772, Option 1, between the hours of 8 A.M. and 8 P.M. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, and Saturday 9 A.M and 5 P.M. Eastern Time. Alternatively, you can the view program online by going to Computershare's website.
  • A.Microsoft pays a quarterly dividend of $0.56 per share. Read the press release.
  • A.This table lists the dividend payments, amounts, and key dates:

    Quarterly Dividend

    Annual Dividend

    Dividend PeriodAmountAnnouncement DateEx-Dividend DateRecord DatePayable Date
    2003$0.08Jan 16, 2003Feb 19, 2003Feb 21, 2003Mar 7, 2003
    2004$0.16Sep 12, 2003Oct 15, 2003Oct 17, 2003Nov 7, 2003

    Special Dividend

    Dividend PeriodAmountAnnouncement DateEx-Dividend DateRecord DatePayable Date
    Special$3.00Jul 20, 2004Nov 15, 2004Nov 17, 2004Dec 2, 2004

Microsoft stock splits

  • A.The Board of Directors makes the decision for any stock split. The most current split was a 2-for-1 common stock split announced on January 16, 2003. The stock will commence trading at the new split price February 18, 2003. This was our ninth stock split since going public March 13, 1986. Read the press release: Microsoft Declares Annual Dividend and Announces Two-for-One Split on Common Stock.
  • A.The most recent split was a 2-for-1 common stock split announced on January 16, 2003. The stock traded at the new split price on February 18, 2003. This was Microsoft's ninth stock split going public March 13, 1986. For more information, read the press release: Microsoft Declares Annual Dividend and Announces Two-for-One Split on Common Stock. After this most recent split, one original share equals 288 shares. This chart summarizes Microsoft's nine common stock splits since the initial public offering on March 13, 1986:
    Payable Date Type of Split* Closing Price Before Closing Price After
    September 18, 19872 for 1$114.50 (Sep 18)$53.50 (Sep 21)
    April 12, 19902 for 1$120.75 (Apr 12)$60.75 (Apr 16)
    June 26, 19913 for 2$100.75 (Jun 26)$68.00 (Jun 27)
    June 12, 19923 for 2$112.50 (Jun 12)$75.75 (Jun 15)
    May 20, 19942 for 1$97.75 (May 20)$50.63 (May 23)
    December 6, 19962 for 1$152.875 (Dec 6)$81.75 (Dec 9)
    February 20, 19982 for 1$155.13 (Feb 20)$81.63 (Feb 23)
    March 26, 19992 for 1$178.13 (Mar 26)$92.38 (Mar 29)
    February 14, 20032 for 1$48.30 (Feb 14)$24.96 (Feb 18)
    *Type of split:
    2 for 1 = One additional share for every share held (multiply the number of shares by 2 for a new total)
    3 for 2 = One additional share for every two shares held (multiply the number of shares by 1.5 for a new total)
  • A.A 2-for-1 split means the investor will have twice as many shares as he had before, at half the market price. Here's an example: As of the record date (January 27, 2003) if an investor owns 100 shares of MSFT and the market price is $50.00/share, that investor's total value is $5,000.00. After the split, the investor will have 200 shares of stock, but the market price will be approximately $25.00/share. The investor's total investment value in MSFT remains the same at $5,000.00 until the stock price moves up or down.
  • A.The decision to split the stock was made by Microsoft's Board of Directors, based on a desire to make our stock more accessible to a broader range of investors.
  • A.This is the ninth time the company has split the stock since Microsoft went public back in March 1986. One original share will equal 288 shares after this split is effective.

Financials and SEC filings

  • A.The next earnings release will be announced soon. A webcast of the conference call will be available from the Microsoft Investor Relations page.
  • A.Microsoft's fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.
    Q1October 27, 2020Read Press Release
    Q2January 26, 2021Read Press Release
    Q3April 27, 2021Read Press Release
    Q4July 27,2021Read Press Release
  • A.No, because of increased printing and distribution costs, as well as the commitment to the use of our own technologies, Microsoft no longer issues printed quarterly reports but focuses on electronic media instead. You can look at all earnings releases on this website.
  • A.Here is our 2020 Microsoft Annual Report online. You can also download a Microsoft Word version of the 2020 Annual Report. If you still require a hard copy version, go to our printed material order form and select "2020 Microsoft Annual Report."
  • A.You can go to our financial history page at this website to find various financial statements in html and Microsoft Word format, as well as financial graphs and charts to view.
  • A.Go to our Investor packet to view or download the company's financial reports. If you need to order materials to be delivered via postal mail, go to our printed material order form.
  • A.Go to our Investor packet to view or download the company's financial reports. If you need to order materials to be delivered via postal mail, go to our printed material order form.

Microsoft debt

  • A.The Microsoft corporate credit rating is AAA and Aaa by Standard & Poor's Rating Services and Moody's Investors Service Inc., respectively. The commercial paper is rated A-1+ by Standard & Poor's and P-1 by Moody's.
  • A.To purchase Microsoft bonds, please consult your financial advisor or broker.

XBRL file format

  • A.XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language) is a freely available electronic language for business reporting. It is an XML–based framework that provides the financial community a standards-based method to prepare, publish, reliably extract, and automatically exchange financial statements. Electronic availability of financial information and transparency of data is key in today's investor and analyst community. XBRL addresses the way financial data is communicated by using XML, a globally recognized standard for transmitting data. By putting financial data in an open, agreed upon standard format, XBRL is helping to revolutionize access to financial information over the Internet. XBRL does not establish new accounting standards, nor does it require additional disclosure from companies to outside audiences. XBRL focuses on enhancing the usability of financial information by means of a digital language of business which enables financial information to be available freely and transparently by the Internet. XBRL not only accommodates accounting standards and policies in place today but is also flexible enough to accommodate future accounting standards and direction.
  • A.XBRL is used to digitally publish financial statements and other relevant accounting disclosures of companies of all makes and sizes, both public and private. An XBRL-based financial statement contains the information found in traditional financial statements (such as the Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Cash Flow and Statement of Stockholders Equity) in a format that can more easily be recognized and understood by computers. From the creation process, XBRL documents can be exchanged reliably and published more easily. On the analytics side, XBRL enables a dramatic improvement in the processing of financial reports by allowing the information to be analyzed more quickly.
  • A.Microsoft publishes its financial statements and footnotes each quarter in XBRL in its Form 10-Q and Form 10-K filings. Investor Relations publishes financial statements webpages using XBRL. The XBRL tags are displayed inline in XBRL mode (<>).
  • A.XBRL brings standardization to today's business reporting supply chain. At its highest level, XBRL improves the efficiency of communication to investors, as well as the aggregation and analysis of business report information, such as financial statements. XBRL provides an electronic dictionary of terms that enable the tagging of business report information, which can then be transferred across disparate systems for use in activities such as analysis. It allows participants in the business reporting supply chain to spend less time doing data entry and cleansing, and more time on value-added activities like data analysis.
    The following table summarizes how XBRL affects the various consumers of financial data:
    Group Effect
    Analysts, investors, and regulators Enhanced distribution and usability of existing financial statement information that enables automated analysis, significantly less re-keying of financial information (from one form into another), and receiving information in a preferred format for a specific style of analysis.
    Financial publishers and data aggregatorsMore efficient data collection that lowers operating costs associated with custom, idiosyncratic data feeds and reduces errors while adding value to the data and increasing transaction capacity.
    Software vendorsIncreased potential for full interoperability with other financial and analytical applications: virtually any software product that manages or uses financial information can use XBRL for its data export and import formats. These products include general ledger and accounting systems, report writers, XML editors, and business applications like Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. XBRL is also able to leverage new technologies such as XML Web services and Microsoft .NET.
    Additional XBRL benefits include:
    • Reduction in the cost of analyzing and reporting business information.
    • Increased speed and efficiency of business decisions by allowing comparisons across consistent tags, thus enabling analysis to occur more quickly.
    • Enhanced distribution of business information by allowing the reuse of the same financial information for multiple reporting methods without losing data integrity.
    • Ready exchange and analysis of business information.
  • A.XBRL increases the re-usability of financial statement information. Instead of creating multiple report outputs for multiple purposes, a single XBRL document can be created that addresses most needs. This reduces the number of total reports that need to be created and also reduces the re-keying of financial data for analytical and other purposes. Externally, investors will have better access to financial results because XBRL facilitates effective and timely analysis of that information.
  • A.In simple terms, HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is a system of marking up a document so it can be published on the World Wide Web. Documents prepared in HTML contain reference graphics and formatting tags. Put another way, HTML is a series of predefined tags that primarily focus on describing how content appears on the Web. For example, HTML describes the font, font size, and color of the text in this paragraph should be when viewed by a Web browser. HTML allowed the Internet to evolve from a text-based collection of data to the multimedia World Wide Web of today. HTML offers content but no real context. XML (Extensible Markup Language) is the universal format for data on the Web that uses tags to give context and structure to content. XML is a standards language that was ratified in February 1998 and is maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). XML does not replace HTML. Rather, XML is a complimentary format that is platform independent, allowing XML data to be rendered on any device, such as a computer, cell phone, personal digital assistant (PDA) or tablet device. XML allows developers to easily describe and deliver rich, structured data from any application in a standard, consistent way. Whereas HTML offers a fixed and predefined number of tags, XML neither defines nor limits tags. Instead, XML provides a framework for defining tags (i.e., taxonomy) and the relationship between them (i.e., schema). Finally, XBRL is an XML–based schema that focuses specifically on business reporting. XBRL is a complement to XML, allowing accountants and regulatory agencies to identify items that are unique to a given business reporting environment. The schema of XBRL defines how to create XBRL documents and XBRL taxonomies (or dictionaries) such as United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). These dictionaries provide a set of business reporting tags or terms that allow users to identify business information in a consistent format. XBRL is also extensible in that users are able to create their own XBRL dictionaries that define and describe tags unique to a given environment. An example of this type of dictionary is the Microsoft custom taxonomy, which can be found on the download page. By putting business report information in an XBRL format, software applications that support XBRL can read the underlying data more efficiently than today's traditional paper–, HTML–, or PDF–based report formats.