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  • Tue, May 10, 2:48 PM
    • Marketo (NASDAQ:MKTO) has resumed trading after a volatility halt, spiking up 15.5% on reports that it's considering strategic options, including a possible sale of the company.
    • Shares had moved in early April on similar talk, possibly with acquisition interest from Microsoft or SAP.
    • Later last month, Bernstein speculated that most likely acquirers were SAP, Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).
    • Now read Competition The Issue As Marketo Pivots To Enterprise »
    • »
    | Tue, May 10, 2:48 PM
  • Tue, May 10, 5:03 AM
    • Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is shutting down its Chinese Web portal next month as the company shifts its focus from providing online content to offering software and services for Windows 10 devices.
    • The software giant, which is under investigation by Chinese antitrust authorities, said it plans to continue to invest in other business in the country as well as maintaining its research and development operations there.
    | Tue, May 10, 5:03 AM | 3 Comments
  • Thu, May 5, 10:50 AM
    • Windows 10 now runs on 300M active devices, Microsoft (MSFT +0.4%) discloses. That's up from 270M in late March, and 200M in early January.
    • Windows 10's availability as a free upgrade to Windows 7/8 users has helped adoption rates easily surpass those for the oft-criticized Windows 8, in spite of weak PC sales. NetMarketShare estimates 15.3% of the global PC installed base is on Windows 10, compared with 9.9% on Windows 8.1, 3.2% on Windows 8, and 10.6% on Windows XP. 47.8% of the base is still believed to be on Windows 7. Free upgrades will disappear on July 29, the one-year anniversary of Windows 10's launch.
    • Also disclosed by Microsoft: Over 63B minutes were spent using the Edge browser (shipped with Windows 10), and the Cortana assistant (built into Windows 10) has answered over 6B questions. Over 9B hours of gameplay have been seen on Windows 10, which supports Xbox One game streaming.
    | Thu, May 5, 10:50 AM | 54 Comments
  • Tue, May 3, 2:09 PM
    • Acquisition-happy Microsoft's (MSFT -1.3%) latest buyout target is Solair, an Italian provider of software/services used to deploy, monitor, and collect data from IoT devices. Terms are undisclosed; offshore cash was presumably used.
    • Microsoft: "Solair shares our ambition for helping customers harness their untapped data and create new intelligence with IoT, and this acquisition supports our strategy to deliver the most complete IoT offering for enterprises." The company adds Solair's services are built on Azure, and will be integrated with Microsoft's Azure IoT Suite (launched last year).
    • Existing Solair clients include espresso machine maker Rancilio Group and power supply system maker AEG Power. In addition to Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, and Cisco have been making big investments in cloud-based IoT services. In February, Cisco announced a $1.4B+ deal to buy IoT service provider Jasper Technologies.
    • Recent Microsoft acquisitions
    | Tue, May 3, 2:09 PM | 10 Comments
  • Mon, May 2, 7:56 AM
    • April monthly performance was: -0.42%
    • AUM of $108B
    • $0.06 in dividends were paid in April
    • Top 10 Holdings as of 3/31/2016: Coca-Cola Co (KO): 4.27%, Microsoft Corp (MSFT): 3.51%, Altria Group Inc (MO): 3.33%, Apple Inc (AAPL): 3.31%, AbbVie Inc (ABBV): 2.67%, International Business Machines Corp (IBM): 2.38%, McDonald's Corp (MCD): 2.09%, Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO): 1.95%, 3M Co (MMM): 1.84%, Home Depot Inc (HD): 1.81%
    | Mon, May 2, 7:56 AM
  • Mon, May 2, 7:55 AM
    • April monthly performance was: +0.42%
    • AUM of $143B
    • $0.19 in dividends were paid in April
    • Top 10 Holdings as of 3/31/2016: Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM): 3.51%, AT&T Inc (T): 3.5%, Microsoft Corp (MSFT): 3.01%, Apple Inc (AAPL): 2.86%, Verizon Communications Inc (VZ): 2.85%, General Electric Co (GE): 2.34%, Chevron Corp (CVX): 2.27%, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): 2.27%, Procter & Gamble Co (PG): 1.95%, Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT): 1.85%
    | Mon, May 2, 7:55 AM | 1 Comment
  • Sun, Apr. 24, 6:27 PM
    • via Credit Suisse, the 15 hottest large cap "rising stars," followed by the number of large cap funds that own them, and the change vs. prior quarter.
    • SYF - Synchrony Financial, 74 | 47
    • MSFT - Microsoft, 350 | 36
    • GOOGL - Alphabet 324 | 39
    • MCD - McDonald's, 104 | 24
    • DAL - Delta Air Lines, 114 | 19
    • GPN - Global Payments, 34 | 19
    • TSN - Tyson Foods, 61 | 18
    • CVX - Chrvron, 180 | 17
    • DFS - Discover, 90 | 16
    • RTN - Raytheon, 85 | 16
    • WFC - Wells Fargo, 250 | 16
    • GIS - General Mills, 63 | 15
    • JPM - JPMorgan Chase, 276 | 15
    • URI - United Rentals, 36 | 15
    • CBS - CBS Corp., 65 | 14
    • CMCSA - Comcast, 223 | 14
    • "We are wary of owning too many Rising Stars, as the potential for differentiation has diminished,"
    | Sun, Apr. 24, 6:27 PM | 85 Comments
  • Fri, Apr. 22, 9:57 AM
    • Tech peace in our time? Microsoft (MSFT -7.3%) and Google (GOOG -4.8%, GOOGL -5.3%) have agreed to drop the regulatory complaints they have against each other, on a global basis.
    • There's no product commitments in the deal, but it may help relieve headaches such as the one Google is facing with the EU's case against Android.
    • “Microsoft has agreed to withdraw its regulatory complaints against Google, reflecting our changing legal priorities,” that company tells Re/code.
    • Google: “Our companies compete vigorously, but we want to do so on the merits of our products, not in legal proceedings.”
    • Now read Alphabet: Sunk By Hidden Costs »
    | Fri, Apr. 22, 9:57 AM | 10 Comments
  • Fri, Apr. 22, 9:13 AM
    | Fri, Apr. 22, 9:13 AM
  • Thu, Apr. 21, 6:05 PM
    • Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is now down 5% after hours, during an earnings call where the company's guiding on the low side of revenue expectations.
    • The company expects fiscal Q4 revenues of $21.7B-$22.4B, vs. consensus for $23.1B. Guidance by segment: Productivity and business processes, $6.5B-$6.7B; Intelligent cloud, $6.5B-$6.7B; More Personal Computing, $8.7B-$9B.
    • The company's shares fell postmarket shortly after announcing its miss on profits. CFO Amy Hood says the company would have beaten analyst estimates if not for tax expenses (A non-GAAP tax rate of 24% vs. the company's guidance for 20% can be seen as a $0.04 hit to EPS). Hood said full-year expectations for tax rate are now 20-21%.
    • CEO Satya Nadella painted a picture of a company that is moving more rapidly (rapidly enough?) into the cloud as the worst quarterly PC numbers since 2007 held down Windows. Windows 10 is running on more than 270M devices now, and the company says it's on track to meet its promise of 1B within 2-3 years.
    • Overall most markets performed as anticipated, Hood said, but "Latin America, the Middle East and Africa were more unfavorable than expected."
    • Phone revenues fell 46%, while Surface tablet sales grew 61%. Unearned revenue was $25.9B, higher than $24.8B expected by analysts polled by Bloomberg.
    • Conference call link
    • Fiscal Q3 earnings slides
    • Now read The Wearables Revolution: Microsoft's HoloLens »
    | Thu, Apr. 21, 6:05 PM | 13 Comments
  • Thu, Apr. 21, 4:34 PM
    • Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has slipped 5% after hours after it missed profit expectations slightly and revenue fell 5.5% on a GAAP basis, amid currency headwinds and a continuing weak PC market.
    • Commercial cloud annualized revenue run rate has surpassed $10B, it said. Revenue by segment (GAAP terms): Productivity and Business Process, $6.522B (up 1%); Intelligent Cloud, $6.096B (up 3%); More Personal Computing, $9.45B (up 1%).
    • Cloud gains were 8% in constant currency and Azure revenue grew 120% in those terms; usage of Azure compute and SQL database more than doubled. Server products and cloud services revenue was up 5% ex-forex.
    • Meanwhile, Windows OEM revenue fell 2% ex-forex. In Productivity and Business Processes, Office commercial products/cloud services revenue grew 7% (Office 365 up 63%), and consumer products/cloud service was up 6% (Office 365 consumer subs up to 22.2M).
    • Income tax expense had a catch-up adjustment due to a changing geographic mix, and the company's GAAP tax rate was 25% (24% non-GAAP).
    • The company should provide guidance on its conference call, set to begin at 5:30 p.m. ET.
    • Now read The Wearables Revolution: Microsoft's HoloLens »
    | Thu, Apr. 21, 4:34 PM | 34 Comments
  • Thu, Apr. 21, 4:09 PM
    • Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT): FQ3 EPS of $0.62 misses by $0.02.
    • Revenue of $22.1B (+1.7% Y/Y) in-line.
    • Shares -3.2%.
    | Thu, Apr. 21, 4:09 PM | 8 Comments
  • Wed, Apr. 20, 9:28 PM
    • It looks increasingly like videogame console combatants Sony (SNE +4.4%) and Microsoft (MSFT -1.4%) will go for a mid-line chip refresh to their current-generation hardware, in order to juice margins and fight mobile competition.
    • Rumors of an upgraded Xbox One may get new credence after Microsoft announced an end to production on its older-gen Xbox 360, which could free up a lot of resources for more productive use.
    • Meanwhile, a "PlayStation 4.5" or "PlayStation Neo" is rumored as well. But while the older-gen systems got upgrades in hard drives, storage is plentiful now, so the new focus may be on a processor upgrade -- providing potential power for virtual reality and 4K, for example.
    • The motivation is an old one: keeping the $300-$500 price points and maximizing console revenues. Console sales have been in decline, mainly due to price cuts by the competitors.
    • Now read Virtual Reality To Give Further Boost To Sony In 2016-17 »
    | Wed, Apr. 20, 9:28 PM | 5 Comments
  • Wed, Apr. 20, 5:35 PM
    | Wed, Apr. 20, 5:35 PM | 22 Comments
  • Wed, Apr. 20, 2:15 PM
    • Microsoft (MSFT -0.7%) says it's halting production of the Xbox 360, its last-generation game console -- an update to the original Xbox that helped it firm up a position as one of the big three console makers.
    • The machine is now more than a decade old and has sold more than 80M units. The next-gen machine, the Xbox One, was launched in 2013, and all older-gen console sales have been in steady decline since, slipping more than 70% as the machines creep up in years.
    • The company will continue to support the box. As for the Xbox One, on a monthly basis it is almost always outsold by Sony's PlayStation 4, while it finishes ahead of Nintendo's Wii U.
    • Now read Microsoft And Amazon's Latest Cloud Moves Show How Different Their Visions Are »
    | Wed, Apr. 20, 2:15 PM | 7 Comments
  • Mon, Apr. 18, 7:23 AM
    • UBS recently hosted a call with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) expert Mary Jo Foley, who has covered the company for 2+ decades. Highlights:
    • Q: How far along is the company in its transition to the cloud? A: Microsoft continues to show progress across multiple product fronts as the company manages its way through the cloud transition. The company is well on its way to management's stated goal of a $20B commercial cloud run rate by FY18, having  recently reached a $9.4B run rate at +71% y/y growth. We think the company gets there much quicker, but caution that MSFT's expansive customer base could present additional challenges. Evidence: FQ2 commercial cloud revenue accelerated to a >$9.4B run rate (up more than 70% y/y, w/ >350 of the Fortune 500 now using 2+ MSFT cloud offerings). This puts the business well above pace towards reaching mgmt's stated objective of a $20Bn run rate in FY18 (which assumes a ~35% CAGR). We note that this growth has been entirely organic (w/ no major acquisitions boosting numbers), and that at the current pace (~70% y/y growth), the company would reach this target ~1 year ahead of schedule.
    • Q: How much upside remains given share price appreciation over the past 12 months? A: MSFT shares have traded up ~30% over the past 12 months (vs. NASDAQ down 3%), but we still think there is room left in the tank, as the company is demonstrating product strength in several new categories (CRM + ERP, O365, security, IaaS/PaaS, BI/analytics), which we believe present MSFT with $185B+ of additional market opportunity.
    • UBS: MSFT is executing a balanced top- and bottom-line story, featuring CEO Nadella "innovating" and CFO Hood "disciplined spender." With a strong initial push, we see real benefits starting to show through in the numbers, including: 1) Unearned revenue building (flat in F15, but est. +11% in F16); 2) cost cutting measures taking hold, with opex flat (F14 to F16) and margins inflecting (~30% OM in F15, which we think can get back to the mid-30s); and cash flow trending in the right direction (1H16 FCF +9% y/y). The new era of MSFT is resonating with investors and we expect shares to continue to benefit from the move to higher-quality platforms and the company's aggressive push to the cloud.
    • Firm has an $60 base price target on MSFT. Implied upside 8%. Its upside case valuation is $80. Implied upside 44%.
    • Now read Microsoft Build Shows A Very Intriguing Path »
    | Mon, Apr. 18, 7:23 AM | 4 Comments