Microsoft Corporation
 (MSFT)

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  • Fri, Feb. 5, 4:17 PM
    • Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) says it has struck a licensing deal with GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO) related to "certain file storage and other system technologies." Terms are confidential.
    • GPRO +4.3% after hours to $10.39, after rising 1.8% in regular trading on an ugly day for markets. The action camera leader sold off yesterday after issuing weak guidance in its Q4 report.
    • In recent years, Microsoft has struck licensing deals with Samsung, ZTE, and many other Android OEMs. The shares of the licensees generally haven't risen in response.
    | Fri, Feb. 5, 4:17 PM | 29 Comments
  • Wed, Feb. 3, 9:21 AM
    • SwiftKey's iOS/Android keyboard apps have over 300M users - a Samsung pre-install deal has helped - and are declared to have "saved nearly 10 trillion keystrokes, across 100 languages" with the help of A.I. that learns a user's typing tendencies to predict his/her next word. They also feature an autocorrect tool that adapts to a user's writing style, and an option to type by swiping from letter to letter.
    • Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is buying SwiftKey for an undisclosed sum; the FT reports the acquisition price is $250M. With SwiftKey based in London, offshore cash is likely being used.
    • Microsoft: "We’ll continue to develop SwiftKey’s market-leading keyboard apps for Android and iOS as well as explore scenarios for the integration of the core technology across the breadth of our product and services portfolio. Moreover, SwiftKey’s predictive technology aligns with Microsoft’s investments and ambition to develop intelligent systems that can work more on the user’s behalf and under their control." The company adds SwiftKey will be integrated with its Word Flow touch keyboard.
    • The purchase is the latest in a string of Microsoft acquisitions of iOS/Android productivity apps. Others include Wunderlist (to-do lists), Accompli (e-mail), and Sunrise (calendars). Nuance's (NASDAQ:NUAN) Swype is a notable SwiftKey rival.
    | Wed, Feb. 3, 9:21 AM | 14 Comments
  • Tue, Feb. 2, 9:00 AM
    • January monthly performance was: -4.6%
    • AUM of $539M
    • 52-week performance vs. the S&P 500 is: -1%
    • $0.02 in dividends were paid in January
    • Top 10 Holdings as of 12/31/2015: Coca-Cola Co (KO): 4.05%, Microsoft Corp (MSFT): 3.61%, Apple Inc (AAPL): 3.27%, Altria Group Inc (MO): 3.17%, AbbVie Inc (ABBV): 2.84%, International Business Machines Corp (IBM): 2.21%, McDonald's Corp (MCD): 2.01%, Intel Corp (INTC): 1.95%, Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO): 1.9%, Home Depot Inc (HD): 1.84%
    | Tue, Feb. 2, 9:00 AM | 1 Comment
  • Tue, Feb. 2, 9:00 AM
    • January monthly performance was: -3.31%
    • AUM of $1.63B
    • 52-week performance vs. the S&P 500 is: -2%
    • $0.10 in dividends were paid in January
    • Top 10 Holdings as of 12/31/2015: Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM): 3.35%, AT&T Inc (T): 3.15%, Microsoft Corp (MSFT): 3.11%, Apple Inc (AAPL): 2.84%, Verizon Communications Inc (VZ): 2.5%, General Electric Co (GE): 2.36%, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): 2.21%, Chevron Corp (CVX): 2.2%, Wells Fargo & Co (WFC): 2.06%, Procter & Gamble Co (PG): 1.93%
    | Tue, Feb. 2, 9:00 AM
  • Mon, Feb. 1, 4:32 AM
    • The U.S. presidential elections start in earnest today with the caucuses in Iowa, and the spotlight will be on precinct officials who have been trained on a new Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) app that is meant to cut down on human error and speed up the reporting process.
    • But not everyone is happy about the involvement of Microsoft (which is providing the app free of charge), with some questioning the tech giant’s motivations.
    • According to the latest Des Moines Register poll, Donald Trump is likely to capture the support of 28% of caucus-goers compared to 23% for Ted Cruz, while Hillary Clinton holds a narrow 45% to 43% advantage over Bernie Sanders.
    | Mon, Feb. 1, 4:32 AM | 34 Comments
  • Fri, Jan. 29, 1:48 PM
    • Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is just ~$2 removed from a 52-week high of $56.85 (set in December) after beating FQ2 estimates with the help of job cuts, buybacks, Azure/Office 365 growth, and a smaller sales decline for the More Personal Computing (Windows, hardware, Bing) segment. Several firms have hiked their targets.
    • The software giant once more guided conservatively on its earnings call, forecasting its three reporting segments will collectively post FQ3 revenue of $21.6B-$22.3B (below a $22.33B consensus). However, Microsoft also cut its FY16 (ends June '16) operating expense guidance to $31.4B-$31.6B from October's $31.9B-$32.1B. FY16 tax rate guidance remains at 19%-21%.
    • "Uneven macro, stronger dollar and slumping PC markets aren't enough to derail the positive momentum of the Microsoft Cloud story," writes Morgan Stanley's Keith Weiss ($66 target). He also isn't worried about Azure sales cannibalizing high-margin Server & Tools (on-premise software) revenue, arguing the cloud transition is a net positive for total value creation.
    • Piper's Katherine Egbert ($66 target) is pleased Windows OEM revenue fell less than the PC market (5% vs. 8%-10%), and that core enterprise sales rose 6% Y/Y with the help of Azure growth (127% Y/Y in dollars, 140% exc. forex) and upsells for on-premise products such as SQL Server.
    • Oppenheimer's Shaul Eyal ($56 target): "MSFT can remain a solid investment vehicle if it continues to show: 1. strong Cloud Services performance (up 140% constant currency YoY); 2. continued operational discipline supporting margin improvement; 3. strong commercial presence via Dynamics and Office 365; 4) clear product road-map supporting further acceleration. MSFT continues to position itself as one of two cloud infrastructure related market leaders."
    • Mentioned on the earnings call/slides: 1 Commercial bookings rose 12% Y/Y, with the commercial unearned revenue balance rising 2% to $19.6B. 2) Office 365 consumer subs rose by 2.4M Q/Q to 20.6M, and Microsoft claims Office 2016 adoption is "outperforming Office 2013 over the same period of time." However, with the 365 shift weighing, Office commercial and consumer revenue respectively fell 1% and 14% Y/Y. 3) Server products/cloud services revenue (affected by the Azure shift) rose only 3%, while enterprise services revenue rose a stronger 10%.
    • Prior Microsoft coverage, earnings slides (.ppt)
    | Fri, Jan. 29, 1:48 PM | 14 Comments
  • Thu, Jan. 28, 4:52 PM
    • Though PC sales remain weak and the division's phone revenue continues plunging (it fell 49% Y/Y in constant currency), Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) More Personal Computing revenue fell a moderate 5% Y/Y in FQ2 to $12.7B, an improvement from FQ1's 17% drop. Moreover, job cuts helped segment op. profit rise 33% to $2.04B.
    • Productivity & Business Process revenue (Office and Dynamics business apps) fell 2% to $6.7B vs. 3% in FQ1, as the transition from up-front Office licenses to Office 365 subscriptions continues weighing. Op. profit fell 8% to $3.31B. Intelligent Cloud revenue (server products, enterprise mobility, and Azure) rose 5% to $6.3B vs. 8% in FQ1; op. profit fell 1% to $2.58B.
    • Business details: In constant currency, Office commercial products revenue rose 5% Y/Y with Office 365 commercial rising nearly 70%, Dynamics revenue rose 11%, server product/cloud services revenue rose 10%, Azure revenue rose 140% in CC, Surface revenue 29%, and search ad revenue (exc. traffic acquisition costs) 21%. Windows OEM revenue fell 5%. Xbox Live MAUs rose 30% to 48M.
    • Financials: Forex had a 500 bps impact on non-GAAP revenue growth (-2% vs. +3%). Gross margin (pressured a bit by the cloud transition) fell to 58.5% from 61.7% a year ago. Thanks to job cuts, R&D spend was flat at $2.9B, sales/marketing spend fell 8% to $3.96B, and G&A fell 5% to $1.04B.

      Also boosting EPS: Common stock repurchases totaled $3.7B. Microsoft ended FQ2 with $102.6B in cash/short-term investments (much of it offshore) and $43.7B in debt. The unearned revenue balance stood at $25B.
    • MSFT +4.1% after hours to $54.17. Earnings call at 5:30PM ET (webcast), guidance should be provided.
    • Microsoft's FQ2 results, earnings release
    | Thu, Jan. 28, 4:52 PM | 22 Comments
  • Thu, Jan. 28, 4:07 PM
    • Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT): FQ2 EPS of $0.78 beats by $0.07.
    • Revenue of $25.7B (-2.9% Y/Y) beats by $440M.
    • Shares +1.9%.
    • Press Release
    | Thu, Jan. 28, 4:07 PM | 34 Comments
  • Wed, Jan. 27, 5:35 PM
  • Wed, Jan. 20, 2:43 AM
    • In a major expansion of its philanthropy efforts, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) plans to donate more than $1B worth of cloud services to nonprofits over the next three years in a bid to "advance the public good" and help solve some of the world's toughest problems.
    • The largest part of the funds will provide free or discounted cloud services, such as Azure computing power and data storage, Office 365 Internet-based corporate programs and other products.
    | Wed, Jan. 20, 2:43 AM | 12 Comments
  • Tue, Jan. 19, 1:25 PM
    • 16 months after announcing the $2.5B purchase of Minecraft developer Mojang, Microsoft (MSFT -0.8%) has disclosed the acquisition of MinecraftEdu, a version of the hit block-placing game meant specifically for classrooms, and used in 40+ countries. Terms are undisclosed.
    • MinecraftEdu will underpin a product known as Minecraft Education Edition that will launch a a free trial this summer. Existing MinecraftEdu customers will get the game free for a year.
    • Microsoft has previously suggested it acquired Minecraft in part to develop stronger ties with younger consumers - the company has even released a tutorial that uses Minecraft to teach kids how to code. 22.2M copies of the PC/Mac edition of Minecraft have been sold; as of last June, over 70M copies had been sold across PCs/Macs, mobile devices, and consoles.
    • Prior Microsoft acquisitions
    | Tue, Jan. 19, 1:25 PM
  • Fri, Jan. 15, 12:35 PM
    • On a day the Nasdaq is off 4.1%, companies with strong PC exposure are seeing even bigger losses after Intel (down 9.2%) beat Q4 estimates and provided healthy 2016 sales guidance, but also reported a slowdown in server CPU sales growth and offered cautious earnings call remarks about Chinese demand and macro trends.
    • Intel's Client Computing Group (provides PC/mobile CPUs) only saw a 1% Y/Y revenue drop in Q4 in the face of weak PC demand. However, volumes were down 16%, with desktop, notebook, and tablet CPU volumes respectively falling 9%, 10%, and 33%. A 17% increase in ASPs minimized Intel's revenue drop. Earlier this week, IDC and Gartner respectively estimated PC shipments  fell 10.6% and 8.3% Y/Y in Q4.
    • The list of PC-related names seeing big losses includes Microsoft (MSFT -4.8%), Nvidia (NVDA -6.7%), AMD (AMD -8.1%), HP Inc. (HPQ -5.2%), Micron (MU -8.9%), Seagate (STX -6.4%), and Western Digital (WDC -6.4%). AMD reports on Jan. 19, Microsoft and Western on Jan. 28, and Seagate on Jan. 29.
    • In other Microsoft news, the company has carried out price cuts of up to 17% for Azure cloud computing services, following new price cuts from Amazon, and is reportedly looking to acquire Indian mobile ad network owner InMobi. Google was rumored to be in buyout talks with InMobi last year.
    • AMD, meanwhile, has begun shipping its Opteron A1100 (Seattle) ARM server CPU. Seattle, first announced in 2013, sports up to eight 64-bit ARM Cortex A-57 CPU cores, and enters a market also targeted by AppliedMicro, Cavium, and Qualcomm.
    | Fri, Jan. 15, 12:35 PM | 15 Comments
  • Fri, Jan. 15, 10:59 AM
    • Following Amazon’s lead, Microsoft cut prices on its Azure cloud computing services, helping Rackspace (NYSE:RAX) reach new 52-week lows on high volume.
    • Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) exec Nicole Herskowitz wrote in a blog post: “[W]e have had a longstanding commitment to make our prices comparable on commodity services like compute, storage, and bandwidth relative to Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ:AMZN). In keeping to this commitment, we are announcing price reductions up to 17% on the latest version of the popular Azure D-series virtual machines, Dv2 Virtual Machines. Dv2 Virtual Machines sport 35% faster CPUs than D “v1” virtual machines and are based on the newest generation Intel Xeon (Haswell) processors.”
    • Rackspace shares are now -27% YTD
    | Fri, Jan. 15, 10:59 AM | 11 Comments
  • Thu, Jan. 14, 7:54 PM
    • December marked a strong month for new videogames, though the sum was down slightly Y/Y likely due to drag from older-generation consoles.
    • New games at retail sold at the pace of $3.22B, NPD Group reports, down from 2014's $3.26B. Hardware and software were down, though accessory sales rose 10%.
    • A 4% increase in spending on newest-generation PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Wii U was offset by a 71% drop in PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii hardware. Overall, hardware sales fell 6% Y/Y. Unsurprisingly, December was the best month on record for software for the newest consoles.
    • In U.S. new physical software: December is usually Call of Duty month and this one was no exception, as Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (ATVI +1.6%) won the period, followed by Star Wars: Battlefront (EA +1.7%) and Fallout 4 (Bethesda Softworks). With holiday gifting, the rest of the chart was full of familiar names: Take-Two's (TTWO +0.6%) Grand Theft Auto V, sports games from EA and Take-Two, and Minecraft (MSFT +2.9%).
    • As usual, Sony's (SNE -0.8%) PS4 was the top-selling console. It beat the Xbox One and Wii U (OTCPK:NTDOY -0.7%) in sales in every month except April and October, and it claimed the crown in the two best-selling months of the year (November and December). Sony says it's nearing 36M PS4s sold overall, after 6.4M-plus from this holiday season.
    | Thu, Jan. 14, 7:54 PM | 7 Comments
  • Wed, Jan. 13, 2:20 PM
    • In order to improve its Skype for Business Online unified communications product, Microsoft (MSFT -1.9%) purchased technology assets from management software startup Event Zero.
    • Microsoft has been working with Event Zero for over eight months as one of three partners offering IT tools for Skype for Business customers.
    • Microsoft says the acquisition will help expand Skype for Business management tools, while integrating monitoring, reporting, and analytics capabilities with partner solutions. The company also says the acquisition will help improve diagnostics and troubleshooting.
    • The move comes as Microsoft faces stiff competition in VoIP solutions for companies from Google Hangouts, Citrix’s GoToMeeting, Cisco’s WebEx, Join.me, JIVE VoIP, Avaya, and ShoreTel, just to name a few.
    • Financial terms were not disclosed.
    • Recent Microsoft acquisitions
    | Wed, Jan. 13, 2:20 PM | 1 Comment
  • Wed, Jan. 13, 10:29 AM
    • Arguing a 3% dividend yield and an expected 10% FY15-FY18 EPS CAGR spells a 13% annual return profile, Morgan Stanley's Keith Weiss has upgraded Microsoft (MSFT +2.2%) to Overweight, and hiked his target by $9 to $66.
    • A 7% revenue CAGR is expected from FY16-FY18, fueled by Azure, server/data center products, and Office 365. EPS growth, pressured in recent years by weak PC sales and the cloud transition (has pushed out revenue recognition and led to higher investments), is seen outpacing revenue growth with the help of buybacks, cost controls, and cloud gross margin expansion. Weiss: "Microsoft has a strong public cloud positioning, datacenter share gains, a durable Office franchise, and less risk in Windows bolsters our confidence."
    • The upgrade comes ahead of Microsoft's Jan. 28 FQ2 report. Last month, Goldman upgraded to Neutral after more than two years of staying bearish.
    • Update (4:26PM ET): With the Nasdaq dropping 3.4% on the day, Microsoft gave back its gains, and then some. Shares closed down 2.2%.
    | Wed, Jan. 13, 10:29 AM | 5 Comments
Company Description
Microsoft Corp is engaged in designing, manufacturing, selling devices, and online advertising. Its products include operating systems for computing devices, servers, phones and other devices.
Sector: Technology
Country: United States