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MSFT Flat In A Down Market
Investors are taking profits this morning after the market reached new highs last week. That’s not stopping Microsoft investors. Shares are holding relatively steady at the $27 mark. Upcoming catalysts include any entrance in the tablet market; Windows Phone 7 adoption with new partner Nokia; strides against current market leaders in cloud computing; gaining search market share with Bing / Yahoo! partnership (see below); and continued momentum of Kinect. The stock currently trades at 9x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow, inexpensive compared to historical trading multiples.Microsoft Locks Shell Into A 5-Year SharePoint Contract (ITPro)
Microsoft and T-Systems (ICT provider) have signed a 5-year deal with Shell as the energy giant looks to help its workers collaborate more effectively in the cloud. The oil and gas firm is already one of Microsoft’s biggest SharePoint customers, but starting in April 2011, the company should be able to take advantage of a customised service. Validation on the product side for Microsoft, not to mention a 5-year lock in.
Microsoft Gets Ready To Roll Out Windows Phone 7 Updates (CNet)
Microsoft began sending out an update to Windows Phone 7 devices that prepares them for the first of two software updates that will add new features. The first of which improves the software update process itself (boring) and the second is slated for arrival in early March, copy and paste or improved Marketplace search. A much bigger update to add multitasking and a much-improved browser is arriving in a few months.
Microsoft Holding Press-Only Event This Thursday, Speculation Abounds (TeamXBox)
rumours surrounding a big reveal by Microsoft have been swirling for weeks now. Most have centered on a high definition remake of Halo: Combat Evolved which has been rumoured to be in production since Summer 2010. Microsoft’s community manager Major Nelson has fanned the flames of speculation announcing he will be in San Francisco on February 24th for an invite-only press event.
Nokia Offering Developers Free WP7 Phones As Peace Offering (The Motley Fool)
In an effort to make amends with Symbian developers cast adrift by its decision to embrace Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 operating system as its primary smartphone platform, Nokia is promising members of its Launchpad developer program a free Nokia E7 device as well as a WP7-based Nokia smartphone. It’s probably the right thing to do, but it will cost them.
Microsoft Embracing Hackers, Will Launch Toolkit For Kinect Developers (The Wall Street Journal)
Microsoft is finally moving to embrace the growing community of developers (hackers) who have created uses for Kinect on PCs. Within the next couple of months, the company says it plans to release a toolkit, that will allow programmers to design software for Windows 7 PCs that can exploit Kinect in an effort to jump in front of a parade of programmers that have already cobbled together software without Microsoft’s permission. It’s also an effort to exploit that growing interest.
Daily Trader: Buy Microsoft On Declines (Seeking Alpha)
Microsoft shares are attractive, and investors should start accumulating on additional declines. The 200 day moving average (DMA) for shares is about $25.82 and the 50 DMA is about $27.80. It’s safe to start building a position and continue to add on any dips down to around the 200 DMA where the stock should have strong support. Overall, shares offer future growth potential, a dividend that is likely to rise, a fantastic balance sheet and a low P/E ratio which makes the shares a lower risk way to invest in technology.
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