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MSFT Up Strong With Rising Market
The market responded well to unemployment trends that indicate a slowly improving job market. Shares of MSFT are up a strong 3%, ahead of the broader markets. Upcoming catalysts include any entrance into the tablet market (even just as an operating system); Windows Phone 7 adoption; strides against current market leaders in cloud computing; holiday sales of Kinect; and continued upgrade cycles of Office 2010 and Windows 7. The stock currently trades at 8x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow, inexpensive compared to historical trading multiples.Windows Pricing Declines But Price Target Still 21% Above Current Trading Levels (The Street)
The average price that Microsoft charges PC manufacturers for Windows has been declining since 2008, led by an increasing mix of netbooks among PC Sales. A sharp increase in emerging markets demand also lifted demand for lower priced notebooks. Trefis research estimates average Windows pricing has declined from a high of $77 in 2007, following the release of Vista, to around $60 in 2010. That price point price yields a stock target of $30.67, or about 21% above current trading levels. See the full Microsoft analysis.
Microsoft Employees Aren’t Happy With Steve Ballmer (Business Insider)
An updated list of CEO approval ratings from Glassdoor has shown a wide disparity between technology executives. Apple’s Steve Jobs, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Eric Schmidt lead the group. Rivals were much lower, however, and saw MySpace president Mike Jones at 60%, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz at 56% and Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer at a particularly low 49%.
Microsoft Launches Xbox Loyalty Program (CNet)
Microsoft has officially launched its Xbox Live Rewards program. Gamers will earn Microsoft Points (Xbox Live’s currency) by simply continuing to using the service. Users will also receive Points for purchasing content. Microsoft’s decision to launch a rewards program comes on the heels of Sony announcing a similar offering back in October.
Microsoft IE9 Usage Up As New Browser Adoption Increases (eWeek)
Microsoft says enterprises are adopting modern browsers more quickly. According to NetMarketshare only 10.3% of enterprises running IE6, while IE8 and IE9 continue to grow. Current usage share for the two newer browsers increased in November to 33% per cent and 0.38%, respectively, with Microsoft’s IE team seeing more than 15 million downloads of the IE9 beta.
Google / Yahoo Japan Alliance Approved Despite Microsoft’s Antitrust Cries (The Wall Street Journal)
Japan’s antitrust regulators have approved the search alliance between Google and Yahoo Japan. Although Yahoo and Microsoft agreed on a search and online advertising partnership last year, Yahoo Japan was free to choose any search service and was not obligated to use Bing. Yahoo Japan’s homepage is the site for more than 50% of searches in Japan, a country that ranks third in Internet users behind China and the U.S., accounting for about 5% of global Web traffic.
Daily Trader: MSFT One Of The Black Friday Winners (The Street)
Microsoft is emerging as one of the early holiday winners. Shares increased 3.1% yesterday as the company announced Monday that it had sold 2.5 million Kinect devices for the Xbox, and was on track to meet its forecast of 5 million units. Other winners include Apple, Red Hat, Nokia and THQ.
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