Moments ago, we learned that Microsoft
CEO Steve Ballmer was retiring.
Earnings came in at $US0.59, missing expectations for $US0.75.
Management blamed the crumbling market for personal computers.
“The consumer PC market remains challenged and declined again this quarter,” said management.
The big loser: Windows.
Microsoft’s Windows Division revenue — excluding nonrecurring deferred revenue — fell by 6% during the quarter.
Earlier this week, Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund speculated that an activist investor could potentially come in and shake up the executive suite.
“Fundamentals are still on a slippery slope as tablets erode PC’s, but stable enterprise business and strong cash flows could support a potential activist agenda for large share repurchase, substantially greater dividend and management succession plan,” wrote Sherlund in his note yesterday.
“We do not think fundamentals matter so much over the next 6 months,” he said. “Rather, we see potential catalyst events that can potentially alter corporate governance at the company and benefit shareholders.”
As of yesterday morning, Sherlund had a Buy-rating on the stock with a $US38 price target.