Ordinary shares of Trend Micro (TMIC) (Tokyo: 4704) traded lower for a fifth straight trading day. The latest development to negatively impact its shares is Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) August 15th international launch of Windows Live OneCare.
Microsoft has a free web-based PC safety scan tool and also is selling a full-time solution at $49.95 for a license that can be used on up to 3 computers. Trend Micro's equivalent, PC-cillin, costs $49.95 for a single license and $89.95 for use on up to 3 PCs.
Zdnet/CNET News.com reports Microsoft's free saftey scanner is similar to Trend's House Call and McAfee's (MFE) FreeScan but Microsoft's service is more thorough going beyond just removal of malicious software.
Following the broad Nikkei selloff in May, Trend has faced further downward pressure as I posted on July 6th in relation to SEC allegations against Trend's CEO. I haven't heard of any recent developments in this matter.
Newratings.com reports KBC cut its rating on Trend to "sell" from "buy" citing a change in its business model from a software to a services-based system. Analyst Hiroshi Kamide said:
"Strategically, this is probably the right thing for them to be doing but this involves a lot of costs and so earnings visibility is going to become very cloudy."
Newratings also mentions Kamide said it's 'only matter of time before Microsoft begins to muscle in on corporate e-security market so margins could stay under pressure.'
Trend did announce its board approved a share buyback plan to spend up to 7 billion yen ($60.5m) to repurchase up to 2 million common shares or about 1.5% of shares outstanding. BusinessWeek online reports via AP the repurchase will take place between this Wednesday and September 30th.
Trend's ADRs closed Friday at $29.01 and are rapidly approaching their 52-week low of $27.95 set intra-day last October. In Tokyo its ordinary shares fell 1.2% to close at 3,310 yen ($28.57).
Recent Trend headlines:
Trend Micro Reports Second Quarter Results (Yahoo! Finance/Xinhua-PRNewswire-FirstCall - August 10)
Trend Micro Lowers 2Q Outlook (Yahoo! Finance/AP - July 27)
Trend Micro Inc (TMIC) 1-year chart: