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MSFT Up, Bucking The Trend
Jobless claims fell more than expected last week, dragging down a closely watched moving average and signaling a gradual healing of the labour market. That said, the market is still trying to regain its footing. Shares of MSFT are up more than the rest of the technology sector. Upcoming catalysts include Peter Klein’s keynote at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference on March 2 at 11:45am ET.; 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 8x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow, inexpensive compared to historical trading multiples.
Microsoft Upgraded To Buy Based On Valuation (Forbes)
Is Microsoft now too cheap for investors to ignore? Standard & Poor’s equity analyst Jim Yin raised his rating on the stock to Buy from Hold, on valuation justification. He contends the stock, now trading at about 10x his June 2011 fiscal year EPS estimate is undervalued. Despite having no presence in mobile, he believes the company is addressing those shortcomings (ARM chip designs, Nokia partnership, etc.). Jim anticipates solid high single digit growth in other businesses, driven by higher enterprise spending and stronger sales of Microsoft Kinect. His price-target is $35.
Microsoft And Dell Announce Effort To Improve Analytics And Business Intelligence In Hospitals (SaaSDirectory)
Microsoft and Dell announced that they will combine efforts to improve the state of analytics and business intelligence in Community Hospitals. The new services will be delivered by Dell as a hosted online service and will feature their cloud computing infrastructure and informatics, analytics and consulting services as well as Microsoft’s health intelligence platform, Microsoft Amalga.
Microsoft And Athenahealth Unveil Electronic Health Solution (Insurance Technology)
Speaking of Amalga, Microsoft has joined with athenahealth to introduce an electronic health solution for healthcare service providers. The alliance will use core competencies from both companies, specifically Microsoft Amalga and athenahealth’s approach to expedite and expand information exchange.
Battle For Government And State Dollars Heats Up Between Microsoft And Google (ReadWriteWeb)
Google announces one state or school district has adopted its cloud offerings; and then it’s Microsoft’s turn to respond with a new list of cloud clients. Google touts 10 million apps for education users, Microsoft touts 15 million. Microsoft recently announced that Portland Public Schools, the largest school district in the state of Oregon with more than 46,000 students, is a new cloud computing client. Oregon, if you recall, was the first state to “go Google” in April 2010.
Microsoft Executive Shuffle Update (Various)
If you care:
- Six months after leaving Microsoft to join desktop virtualization vendor Parallels, executive Birger Steen has been promoted to CEO. Steen joined Parallels in September 2010 as the company’s president, and will take over the CEO role from Serguei Beloussov, who founded Parallels and will continue in a full-time role as president, chairman and chief architect (PCWorld).
- A state judge on upheld Microsoft’s opposition to a former employee moving to Saleforce.com, agreeing that doing so would violate his non-compete agreement. Matt Miszewski left Microsoft at the end of December to take a job at the cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) company (All Things Digital).