THE MICROSOFT INVESTOR: Skype's User Metrics Are Pretty Impressive

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baby on Skype

jayneandd, Flickr

MSFT Up With Markets  
Stocks are up after a rocky morning despite Europe closing largely in the red. Shares of MSFT are up after morning lows. Catalysts for the stock include Windows 8, Windows Server 8, Office 15 and Windows Phone 8; expansion in the smartphone market with primary hardware partner Nokia; strides in cloud computing; profitability in the online business, including integration of Skype; and continued evolution of Kinect and next generation Xbox. The stock currently trades at 7.3x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow.Stats: Skype By The Numbers (The Next Web)
Microsoft announced that Skype will be rolling out a new ad product to monetise its free users. In doing so, they also dropped some pearls:

  • Unique Users: 41 million
  • Time Spent: 13 minutes
  • Gender: 46.3% are male, 53.7% are female
  • Age: 65.8% are 18-49 while 58.5% are 25-54
  • Education: 33.3% have graduated college or higher
  • Income: 61% have a household income of $50K+

Skype had more than 145 million active users in 2011 as well.

Apple Is Good About Lying When The Truth Hurts (Neowin)
Apple’s good about bending the truth. Take a look at Apple’s classic (because they do it all the time) user adoption rate; they proudly proclaimed that consumers are adopting OS X Lion far faster than that of Windows 7. It’s cute, but when your market share pales in comparison, it is an easy statistic to slant to provide a screwed view of what is really happening. Over the same time scale, Microsoft, as it should be no surprise, dominates Apple in sales. Check out more comparisons in the article.

rumour: Microsoft For Yammer For $1 Billion (Business Insider)
Microsoft is in talks to buy Yammer for more than $1 billion, with a deal coming as soon as Friday. Yammer’s Web-based software lets employees work together on projects and share information in an environment that looks more like Facebook than Microsoft Office.

Yahoo’s Search Share Loss Is Google’s And Microsoft’s Gain (Business Insider)
Yahoo has lost search market share for nine consecutive months in the U.S., according to comScore. May saw Yahoo drop another 0.1% in May to 13.4%. That’s down almost 3 full percentage points from last August. Most of those losses have been Google’s gains – its market share is up about 2 percentage points since August 2011, while Microsoft’s Bing has gained 0.7% since that time. In a research note, analyst Ben Schacter from Macquarie says that he sees “no structural bottom” to Yahoo’s decline. These stats don’t include mobile browsing, where Google is probably even more dominant. Google is also stronger outside the U.S., with the notable exception of China.

Microsoft: The Quintessential Tech-Value Play That Buffett Would Love (Validea)
Warren Buffett’s long term investment record is one of the best ever. He seeks out strong companies with strong competitive advantages, and he has the patience to wait for the value of the shares to come in before making his move. According to Validea, Microsoft rates highly in their Buffett model. The company has seen its earnings grow in all but one year over the last 10 years. The company’s 10-year return on equity and return on total capital are 29.3% and 27.9%, respectively, which shows that Microsoft has a wide competitive moat around its core business. Using the average of the ROE and average EPS growth method, Validea’s Buffett model estimates investors in the stock could see a 16.5% average return over the next 10 years from these levels.

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