What's your position on ?
Why are you ish?
You voted ish on Vote again
Posts appear on the My Feed page of subscribers to this ticker
Jul. 8, 2015, 9:22 AM
- Satya Nadella, who recently talked of making "tough choices": "We are moving from a strategy to grow a standalone phone business to a strategy to grow and create a vibrant Windows ecosystem including our first-party device family. In the near-term, we'll run a more effective and focused phone portfolio while retaining capability for long-term reinvention in mobility ... We’ll bring business customers the best management, security and productivity experiences they need; value phone buyers the communications services they want; and Windows fans the flagship devices they’ll love."
- With Microsoft having paid $7.17B for Nokia's Devices & Services unit and a related IP licensing deal ($9.4B including acquired cash), the company's write-down exceeds its acquisition price. Last week, Microsoft struck deals to sell mapping imagery assets to Uber, and to offload its display ad ops to AOL. A $6.2B charge was taken in 2012 on the $6.3B acquisition of ad agency aQuantive.
- Microsoft is down fractionally premarket. Nasdaq futures are down 0.8%.
- Last year: Ballmer reportedly pushed for Nokia deal; Gates, Nadella initially opposed
Jul. 8, 2015, 2:43 AM
- Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) plans to announce a major new round of layoffs as early as today, as the company seeks to further cut costs amid a shifting technology landscape, NYT reports.
- The new cuts are in addition to the roughly 18,000 employees Microsoft said it planned to let go a year ago, and are expected to affect people in the company's hardware group.
- MSFT -1.5% premarket
Jul. 7, 2015, 12:41 PM
- After following markets lower earlier today, Workday (WDAY +1.1%) has turned positive in the wake of a column from The Information's Steve Nellis arguing Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) should buy the cloud HCM/financials software leader.
- Nellis: "Only Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) and Workday have enough revenue momentum to help Microsoft become a major seller of software for tracking customers, employee records and financials. But Workday is the better choice for several reasons, including the fact that Salesforce’s products feel dated."
- CNBC reported in May Microsoft held buyout talks with Salesforce, the sole enterprise cloud software pure-play larger than Workday, while adding the companies "remained far apart on a price."
- With a current market cap of $14.8B - would the company be willing to sell at $19B-$20B? - Workday would be a much less costly acquisition for Microsoft than Salesforce ($45.3B market cap). Both the company's forward sales multiples and expected growth rates are notably higher than Salesforce's.
Jul. 7, 2015, 9:29 AM
- Following checks, Chardan Capital thinks Himax (NASDAQ:HIMX) is supplying LCoS microdisplays for Microsoft's HoloLens augmented reality headset, with 2x as much content as it has for Google Glass. It also states checks indicate Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) will announce HoloLens' availability later this month; no formal launch date has been given yet.
- The firm has upgraded Himax to Buy from Sell - it downgraded to Sell on May 29, when Himax was at $6.30 - and hiked its target all the way to $13 from $4.
- Himax has risen to $8.15 premarket. Shares jumped in January when Microsoft originally unveiled HoloLens. The headset's display tech hasn't yet been officially announced.
- Update: More details here. Chardan's Jay Srivatsa: "If the timeline of MSFT's [HoloLens] introduction is consistent with our checks, we could expect HIMX to begin modest ramp in Q3:15 and more so in Q4:15 with full production in FY:2016." He sees a $20M-$30M 2H15 revenue opportunity, and an $80M-$120M 2016 opportunity.
Jun. 29, 2015, 11:22 PM
- KitGuru, not a site with a long track record of delivering M&A scoops, reports (citing a source) Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) "may acquire" AMD.
- It adds Microsoft approached AMD, which provides the APU for both the Xbox One and PS4, about a buyout several months ago, and that "the result of the talks is unclear."
- AMD rose 3% in AH trading to $2.41 on the rumor, after having fallen 5.3% in regular trading thanks to a broad market rout. Shares also fell sharply on Friday, following Micron's results/guidance.
- Back in 2012, BSN reported Intel is thinking of acquiring Nvidia and making Nvidia chief Jen-Hsun Huang its next CEO. That rumor didn't quite pan out.
Jun. 29, 2015, 5:24 PM
- Confirming a recent Bloomberg report, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) states AOL, just acquired by Verizon (NYSE:VZ), will "assume management and sales responsibility for all of Microsoft's display, mobile and video advertising inventory in nine key global markets -- the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Japan."
- AOL will handle ad inventory for MSN, Outlook Mail, Xbox, Skype, mobile apps, and other Microsoft properties. The WSJ reports "Microsoft’s roughly 1,200 advertising employees — from engineering to sales — will be getting offer letters to join AOL."
- In addition, AOL and Microsoft have signed a 10-year search/search ad pact that will make Bing AOL's search provider, starting Jan. 1, 2016. AOL has thus far been relying on Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) search. AOL's search ops had Q1 revenue of $116.4M (+19% Y/Y), and 2014 revenue of $402.6M (+4%).
Jun. 29, 2015, 4:33 PM
- Bloomberg reports Microsoft (MSFT) is shutting down its display ad business, and handing over related operations to AOL (just bought by Verizon) and private AppNexus. 1,200 jobs will be affected. Some of the employees will be laid off, and others offered positions elsewhere at Microsoft.
- The report comes a few days after Satya Nadella stated in an employee memo Microsoft has to "make some tough choices in areas where things are not working." The company had 128K employees as of June 2014, but has since carried out major layoffs.
- Twitter, Yelp, LinkedIn, Zillow, and others have reported seeing display ad challenges this year. Many of the affected firms have mentioned being hurt by industry adoption of programmatic (automated) ad-buying platforms that are often displacing traditional ad sales.
- Earlier: Microsoft selling Bing image-collection assets to Uber
- Update: The Microsoft/AOL deal is official. As part of the tie-up, Bing will power AOL search.
Jun. 29, 2015, 3:10 PM
- UBER is acquiring map image-collection assets from Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Bing unit to strengthen its internal mapping work. About 100 Microsoft employees will be joining Uber. Terms are undisclosed.
- Uber, whose apps have been relying on Google Maps, has been rumored to be interested in Nokia's HERE mapping/navigation software unit. However, a recent Bloomberg report indicated Nokia prefers to sell the unit to a group of German automakers.
- Earlier: Top Chinese Uber rival Didi Kuaidi reportedly looking to raise ~$2B
Jun. 25, 2015, 5:58 PM
- "We will need to innovate in new areas, execute against our plans, make some tough choices in areas where things are not working and solve hard problems in ways that drive customer value," says Satya Nadella (NASDAQ:MSFT) towards the end of an employee memo providing a new mission statement.
- Nadella: "We will realize our mission and strategy by investing in three interconnected and bold ambitions.
1. Reinvent productivity and business processes
2. Build the intelligent cloud platform
3. Create more personal computing"
- Worth remembering: The last time Nadella hinted at big changes in a memo (July 2014), Microsoft announced major layoffs a week later. The latest missive comes a week after Microsoft announced a reorg that (among other things) creates a new Windows and Devices group responsible for both OS and hardware development.
Jun. 17, 2015, 12:04 PM
- Less than 2 years after Steve Ballmer launched a big reorg (I, II), Satya Nadella (MSFT -0.2%) has announced a shakeup of his own. The biggest change: OS chief Terry Myerson will be in charge of a new Windows and Devices Group that covers both Windows and hardware (Xbox, Surface, Lumia, HoloLens, etc.) development. Hardware chief/ex-Nokia CEO Stephen Elop is leaving.
- Also: 1) Cloud/enterprise product chief Scott Guthrie (in charge of Azure, Windows Server, SQL Server, and Visual Studio) will now also be in charge of Microsoft's Dynamics ERP/CRM business apps. 2) Apps/services chief Qi Liu (in charge of Office, Bing, Skype, Exchange, and SharePoint) will also be responsible for education market solutions.
- Joining Elop out the door are Dynamics chief Kirill Tatarinov, advanced strategy EVP Eric Rudder, and chief insight officer Mark Penn (leaving to form an ad tech investment firm).
- Nadella declares the moves leave Microsoft with 3 engineering groups that "work together to deliver on our strategy and ambitions." Ballmer's reorg also aimed to improve cross-product collaboration and remove internal fiefdoms/turf battles.
- The Nadella era has already seen ex-Skype chief Tony Bates and marketing EVP Tami Reller leave. Meanwhile, former Office chief Kurt DelBene (left during Ballmer's reorg) has returned to be Microsoft's EVP of corporate strategy/planning.
- Microsoft has also, of course, carried out massive layoffs during Nadella's time, with a big chunk of them hitting the former Nokia phone unit now under Myerson's purview. The company has hinted it could take a major write-down on the Nokia unit, which for now remains officially valued by Microsoft at $5.46B.
- Update: Phone unit chief Jo Harlow (reported to Elop) is also leaving the company.
Jun. 16, 2015, 12:37 PM
- Going forward, Box (BOX +3.6%) clients will be able to "browse, open and edit Office Online files directly from Box, as well as automatically save all changes made in Office Online back to Box in real-time." By doing so, they'll be able to leverage Box's collaboration tools and security/compliance features while working on Office files.
- Box has already worked with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to allow files stored via Box to be opened via Microsoft's PC and mobile Office apps, and to be saved back to the cloud once a user is finished. The integration work comes in spite of the fact Box competes with Microsoft's SharePoint collaboration platform and OneDrive cloud storage platform; unlimited OneDrive storage is provided to Office 365 subs.
- Microsoft also has an Office integration deal with Dropbox. “We are company agnostic when it comes to who we integrate with,” says Microsoft exec Jared Spataro.
- Box has caught a bid on the news. Shares jumped last week in response to Box's FQ1 beat and FQ2/FY16 guidance, but soon gave back their gains.
Jun. 15, 2015, 2:34 PM
- More than 100 Xbox 360 titles will be playable on the Xbox One by the holidays, Microsoft (MSFT -1%) states at an E3 conference event. Developers only have to approve a 360 title for backwards compatibility for it to be available; gamers have to insert a 360 disc, and then download a digital copy. One features such livestreaming, screenshots, and Game DVR will be supported. (live blogs: GameSpot, The Verge, BGR)
- Microsoft also promises "gamers won't have to pay to play games they already own." That's a not-so-subtle shot at Sony (SNE +0.8%), which is charging users to play PS2/PS3 games on the PS4 via its PlayStation Now cloud game-streaming service.
- Separately, the software giant says it's building a version of Minecraft specifically for its HoloLens augmented reality headset. The Verge: "You can play with a controller as you'd expect, and create or explore worlds using holograms you create with voice or gestures ... The audience seemed impressed, and the demo kept the hologram perfectly positioned on the table while the presented walked around and interacted with Minecraft objects freely. Most of those interactions were enabled by voice, but the demo also involved Microsoft's "air tap" gesture where you raise your index finger and tap down."
- Other announcements: 1) Less than a week after announcing a Windows 10/Xbox One gaming partnership with Oculus, Microsoft announces it's also partnering with online gaming platform Valve to "make Windows 10 the best platform for VR gaming." To date, Valve has partnered with HTC on a VR headset. 2) Gears of War 4 will launch by the 2016 holiday season. 3) An Xbox One Elite controller has been unveiled. It features 4 "paddle" buttons on the back, sensitivity controls, and swappable paddles and joysticks.
Jun. 11, 2015, 2:31 PM
- Xbox One (MSFT -0.5%) games will be playable on the Oculus Rift (FB - unchanged) VR headset via streaming to Windows 10 PCs, Xbox chief Phil Spencer states at an Oculus event. In addition, each Rift unit will ship with an Xbox One wireless controller and related PC adapter following the headset's commercial launch, which is set for Q1 2016. Spencer: "We believe we’ll be able to create state of the art virtual reality experiences with the Oculus Rift on top of Windows." (live blog)
- The alliance indicates Microsoft will rely on Oculus (widely seen as having an early VR tech lead) to counter the 1H16 launch of Sony's Morpheus VR gaming headset. Microsoft's HoloLens augmented reality headset (due later this year) will also support Xbox gaming.
- The first commercial edition of the Rift has been officially unveiled. It features two OLED screens (one for each eye), an integrated/removable headphone, and a tabletop camera to track head movements.
- For the time being, the Rift will require a PC to work. No word yet on pricing; Oculus has previously suggested it would like to charge $200-$400. CEO Brendan Iribe has estimated the total cost of a Rift + a PC powerful enough to run it would be around $1,500. Meanwhile, Samsung has been working on the Gear VR, a less powerful Oculus-based headset that relies on a phone's display and camera.
- Also: 1) Oculus is previewing the Oculus Touch, a set of handheld motion controllers that work with Rift games/apps, and enable hand gestures and actions. 2) The first Rift games have been announced; the list includes an RPG called Chronos, and a sci-fi flight simulator called Eve Valkyrie. Oculus is setting up a $10M fund to support indie game development.
Jun. 9, 2015, 6:03 PM
- Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) declares $0.31/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.
- Forward yield 2.72%
- Payable Sept. 10; for shareholders of record Aug. 20; ex-div Aug. 18.
Jun. 9, 2015, 2:43 PM
- Ahead of the game industry's E3 conference (runs from June 16-18), Microsoft (MSFT +0.3%) has unveiled a $399 Xbox One model (Kinect sold separately) containing a 1TB hard drive. Meanwhile, the older 500GB model's price has been permanently cut to $349; it was previously offered at $349 through a promo.
- The One now comes with a revamped wireless controller sporting a 3.5mm headphone jack. For a short time, the 1TB model also comes with a copy of Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
- Microsoft had cumulatively sold 10M Xbox One units as of last November. Sony (SNE -0.3%), which has kept the PlayStation 4's price at $399 since its launch, topped 20M lifetime PS4 sales in March. Nonetheless, NPD believes retail U.S. Xbox One sales topped PS4 sales in April on the back of 63% Y/Y growth.
Jun. 8, 2015, 11:59 PM
- In a look-ahead to this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, Wedbush has its eye on a number of companies, but none more so than console battlers Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Sony (NYSE:SNE).
- The team (Michael Pachter, Nick McKay and Alicia Reese) highlights a few "what to watch" notes for the consoles: price cuts for the current-gen consoles (Xbox 360 and PS3); no price cuts for next-gen (Xbox One and PS4) as they expect the focus will be on new product bundles; a virtual-reality interface-off between the two; and a battle of notable games (and possible exclusives) on each.
- Among game publishers, they're looking to Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) for news about the holiday season release of its next Call of Duty: Black Ops III; Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) and its annual sports titles (with possible surprises from Star Wars: Battlefront), and a high-stakes game from Take-Two rumored to be called Advent.
- E3 begins June 16 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Other News & PR