Microsoft’s stock reached its highest price of $39.90 per share since 2000 yesterday. Thanks to the news regarding Office for iPad release. Office for the iPad has been rumored for many years now, but it appears Microsoft is finally ready to unveil the product later this month.  According to reports, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will himself demo the product marking his first major public appearance since becoming CEO. Yesterday, Microsoft sent out press invites for an event in San Fransisco on March 27th and Microsoft is expected to unveil Office for iPad on that day. It seems investors are too excited about this news that Microsoft is releasing Office for iPad. Office is already generating significant revenue for Microsoft and investors hope that releasing Office on new platforms should further increase Microsoft’s revenue. Rick Sherlund of Nomura Equity Research has a “Buy” rating on MSFT stock and has set a ...

Read More →

Microsoft stock is up almost 1.3% ($36.94) on the news that Satya Nadella has been named CEO.  This is a good sign that Wall Street seems to be accepting the board’s pick.  Wall Street sees this pick as a sign Microsoft will be more enterprise focused considering Satya Nadella’s old position was EVP of Cloud & Enterprise. Microsoft has not commented on who will be replacing Satya Nadella’s old job as head of Cloud & Enterprise, although there is some speculation that Scott Guthrie might be a good candidate. ...

Read More →

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 ...

Read More →

Microsoft shares gained 1.6% to close at $38.94. Microsoft last closed above $38.94 on July 18, 2000, when it ended the day at $39.25.  The stock was up today on the good news from the European Union that had approved the Nokia deal without any conditions imposed.  The stock has been up significantly this year on speculation of the new CEO and the possibilities that Bing and Xbox may be sold.  I suspect the stock may pull back some after the new CEO is announced and investors realize that these two parts of the company will never be sold. Ballmer’s and Gates net worth probably went up significantly on this alone. Source: Nasdaq ...

Read More →

Breaking: Microsoft announces quarterly dividend increase of 22% and up to $40 billion share repurchase program. Story is still developing, we’ll update accordingly. Stock is up about 1% currently. This sounds similar to a program Microsoft had in 2008. Update: Microsoft Corp. announced on Tuesday that its board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.28 per share, reflecting a 5 cent or 22 percent increase over the previous quarter’s dividend. The dividend is payable Dec. 12, 2013, to shareholders of record on Nov. 21, 2013. The ex-dividend date will be Nov. 19, 2013. The board of directors also approved a new share repurchase program authorizing up to $40 billion in share repurchases. The new share repurchase program, which has no expiration date, replaces the previous $40 billion share repurchase program that was set to expire Sept. 30, 2013. “These actions reflect a continued commitment to returning cash to our ...

Read More →

According to report from Reuters, members of Microsoft board have held talks with ValueAct Capital Management in the last week over the activist shareholder’s demands to have a seat on the Microsoft’s board. ValueAct owns 33 million Microsoft shares as of March, which is 0.4 percent of total outstanding shares of Microsoft in NASDAQ. ValueAct wants to have control over Microsoft to make changes on how they adapt to the new world of mobile computing by having a board member. Microsoft’s huge stock drop on Friday, prompted by its financial results and a $900 million write-down on the value of unsold Surface tablets, provoked fresh skepticism of Ballmer’s new plan to reshape Microsoft around devices and services. “The recent reorganization does not fix the tablet or smartphone problem,” Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund said in a note to clients on Friday. “The devices opportunity just received a $900 million hardware write-off ...

Read More →

Wall Street’s top-ranked software industry analyst for nearly two decades, Rick Sherlund, the former Goldman Sachs now Nomura Equity research analyst has covered Microsoft since they went public in 1986.  Sherlund is a personal friend of Bill Gates & Paul Allen and was a liaison between Goldman & Microsoft during his time there. In a report he published today he recommends Microsoft sell Xbox and Bing: Sherlund of Bing: While we like Bing as a service, we need to look at this from an ROI and strategic perspective. If Microsoft could sell or even give Bing to Facebook or Yahoo and eliminate its operating costs and get a Traffic Acquisition Cost (TAC) back to monetize the traffic that Windows/Internet Explorer or Xbox in the living room can drive to Bing, this might generate perhaps $1.0bn of profit and positive FCF rather than be a drag of a similar magnitude. If this were returned to shareholders, this could add nearly 1% ...

Read More →