Microsoft Stock Down 2.4% After “News” About Alan Mulally

In September we covered a report by Kara Swisher in which she got a statement out of Alan Mulally about becoming Microsoft’s next CEO:

“I continue to be focused on serving Ford … and I have my red Ford vest on right now!!”

Here is a report from this blog on October 3, 2013: Ford CEO Alan Mulally Sidesteps Questions About Becoming Microsoft’s Next CEO, in there Alan Mulally talks to USA Today and explicitly states:

“I love serving Ford and have nothing new to add to (my) plans to continue serving Ford,” Alan Mulally

Here is a statement from Ford yesterday, as they were surrounded by press because the company was unveiling the 2014 Mustang:

This is completely consistent with what we’ve been publicly saying for the past 13 months,” said Jay Cooney, a Ford spokesman. “Alan Mulally’s plan is to stay on through the end of 2014.”

Now Bloomberg’s Dina Bass tried to make a story out of this and it sent Microsoft’s stock tumbling (it appears she deleted her original tweet about this).  And for who knows what reason, The Verge decided to publish a story about this.  The company has literally been saying the same exact thing for the past 4 months!  Frank Shaw subtweeted on twitter about Dina Bass.

Frank Shaw Dina Bass Diss #2

Remember this gem after Dina tried to convince us Elop would sell Xbox & Bing, “We appreciate Bloomberg’s foray into fiction & look forward to future episodes,” said Frank Shaw of Microsoft.”

Now maybe Dina Bass is just trying to save face here because she knows her reports have been mostly false and fed to her.  Nevertheless, since Bloomberg is a popular New York publication among Wall Street it sent Microsoft’s stock tumbling over 2.4%.  It has gained about 1% of that back today, but it is still below the 13 year high of two days ago.

MSFT Stock Drop

I hope to god Dina Bass is at least making some money from a pump and dump scheme, or shorting the stock before her ‘report’ came out.  I think I’ll ignore her for now.

  • Mark Oostveen

    Don’t give the lady too much credit. Maybe some people are just cashing at the new record high, causing a drop in share price.

  • nohone

    Note that the important thing is it was down yesterday, but today it is up nearly 1%. After going up quite a bit over the past week, hitting a 13 year high, there is going to be some profit taking after a run up. It went down, now it is going back up again.

    • Guest

      Thanks for stating the obvious, the piercing insight we get out of post like this is why your so beloved around here, NOT. Just because you have a thought it does not mean you have to share it.

      • Azzras

        Your comment makes me think that you are at most 12 year old…

  • Jamie Maclean

    Is she trying to manipulate the stock for personal gain? There are laws against that in most advanced economies … I do not know about the U.S., but in other jurisdictions that can earn a jail sentence.

    • Azzras

      It does happen, quite often, along with insider trading. People do tend to break laws if there is a buck to be made. Sad but true.
      I’m not saying or trying to imply this is the case here. Just saying that it’s not uncommon.

  • Jeff Hung

    I’m pretty much sure all the successor craziness and Bing/Xbox spin-off rumors are originated from Rick Sherlund to steer Microsoft as vocal minority.

    • Guest

      You obviously haven’t followed the guy for long. He was involved in originally taking MS public and spent most of the past decade wrongly telling people to buy the stock. This more critical activist stance only started a couple years back after MS’s failures in mobile and tablets were impossible to ignore. Then suddenly Sherlund became first negative, and then about a year or so back said buy but only because activists are going to get more vocal and that should drive the stock. Turns out he was finally right on the latter.

      The real pressure for a non-inbred CEO and dumping Xbox and Bing is coming from Wall St. Shurlund just echoing what he’s hearing from them.

      • Joe_HTH

        First of all, Sherlund is an idiot. He is just like every activist investor, looking to make a quick buck. He doesn’t give a shit about the long term viability of Microsoft. They could die next week, and if he can making a killing off of their corpse, he’ll be happy. Secondly, mobile has absolutely nothing to do with anything Sherlund said. He talked about selling Bing and spinning off Xbox, which long term would be disastrous for the company. He never said Microsoft should stop making phones and tablets, especially as WP8 is gaining market share around the world.

        Investors should never dictate what companies should do, because they are idiots. It’s why boards rarely if ever listen to it’s stockholders.

        • Guest

          That idiot was once ranked the #1 analyst in technology. The main “activist” investor right now is ValueAct, And their track record isn’t to make a quick buck. Far from it, actually. Obviously there are many other investors who are looking for a quick pop so they can finally get out of MS. What do you expect when the stock has been dead money for thirteen years? Sherlund did discuss mobile when he first returned to being an analyst and went negative on MS, just like I said. Look it up. I don’t think his recent thoughts have focused much on it, mostly because there are bigger problems to deal with. But I doubt he was in favor of the Nokia deal. If he was, it likely was only because he felt you can’t be a player anymore without at least a foot in mobile. Of course he talked about selling off Bing and Xbox recently. So has anyone else looking hard at the historical record of those two businesses. You say it would be disastrous long term. But that’s an opinion. Whereas the losses both of those units have incurred, in Bing’s case with little success to show for it, is fact.

          Investors own the company. You’re saying they shouldn’t dictate what it should do? Instead leave it to the management team that over a decade systematically destroyed the company’s dominant competitive position while unloading their personal stock holding by the truckload? Seriously? Oh, and the board is there to represent the shareholders, not the management team. But you’re right, MS’s ignored that duty and instead let Ballmer get away with every stupid move he made. And now they and the management team are finally feeling the heat of dissatisfaction. As they should.

          Look, MS has not been on a path to success. While you may not like the investor/owners agitating, my view is they may just end up saving the company from itself. What hopefully will emerge is a leaner more focused company that maybe won’t ever be as dominant as it was, but at least will stop being seen as uncompetitive and a laggard.

          • arcana112

            Counting Bing’s success on it’s search market share is, at best, myopic. Bing provides all the data intelligence in both Windows and WP now. It is literally the connection between all of MS products and the internet. Killing it means that from now on MSFT would be become totally (and irreversibly) depended on Google for any information that MS’ products desire to pump from the internet. And then it’s up to Google to decide whether to “cut out” this line and suffocate Microsoft or not (ala Youtube and WP)…

          • Johan Spånberg

            It also brings information to IOS… Which in the end is good for us WP-users… More mobile-users will make the backend more optimized.

          • ll

            was with you right until the third paragraph where you decided to venture into cojecture

          • Azzras

            And record profits year over year mean nothing, right? Also, MS is pretty much dominant in every area of business they are in, save for search, mobile, and cloud computing… but they are making MASSIVE gains in the previously mentioned areas.
            The only people who think MS is not competitive are fanboys…

          • SategB

            And MSFT Board, otherwise they would not be searching for a new CEO.

          • arrow2010

            The first mistake is to look at Bing as a separate P&L business instead of as a key piece of infrastructure. If Bing was sold off, what would MS use – Google?

      • diamondx_8

        I can’t think of many companies that have achieved greatness by listening to short-term focused denizens of Wall Street.

        • SategB

          I have seen many once great companies disappear from the landscape from the failure move beyond old strategies of extend and defend legacy products and refusal to take aggressive new and action to refine its success

          • diamondx_8

            I don’t think this describes Microsoft if that is what you are inferring. MSFT has created an entirely and innovative new mobile phone ecosystem, they are innovating in the cloud space and in the home entertainment space. MSFT is not perfect and they have clearly had some execution issues, however, I don’t think they should blindly follow Wall Street which is dominated by a short-term trading mentality. MSFT has completely reorganized as a device and services company. To me that is about as aggressive as they can be.

          • SategB

            Yes but after giving up a one time high of42% market share in mobile, a failure to develop a successful tablet strategy after years of market leadership, and after seeing falling core market growth.

            We are seeing reactive not proactive or everything 6 years too late making Investors rightly impatient.

  • freeman

    The reality is Ballmer is leaving and the uncertainty in the companies future will always leave it vulnerable to the markets. When the person is a appointed, their strategy becomes apparent the price will stabilise. Ballmers step down was announced way too early or he should go asap.

  • Habib Wakil

    So in today’s market 2.4% is a tumble? When I think of tumbling, it is a much greater fall than just a few feet!

  • Azzras

    It’s amazing, sad, and just plain stupid how a rumor/txt/tweet can affect the stock market. It’s also quite scary. The right person making a false claim could cause irreparable harm to a company. I’m so glad everyone on Wall Street adheres to the highest standards in ethics. /s