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MSFT Flat In Early Trading
Stocks have recovered from an opening slip leaving major equity averages to trade sideways. The Consumer Confidence Index for March was posted indicating that consumers are worried about inflation. Shares of MSFT are trading flat. 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; and continued momentum of Kinect. The stock currently trades at 8x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow, inexpensive compared to historical trading multiples.Acer Warns On First Quarter Sales, Tablets Eating Into Notebook Sales (Reuters)
Yesterday, Acer warned that its first quarter sales down 10% from last quarter, and it doesn’t expect any growth in the second quarter either. It previously expected 3% sales growth for the quarter. The PC market looks like it’s headed for a bad year, as notebook sales fall prey to Apple’s iPad and other tablets. Acer is introducing new tablets later this year, including some that run Google’s Android operating system instead of Windows, which won’t help Microsoft. Read more from Matt Rosoff at Business Insider.
Microsoft Apologizes For Update Slowness, More Challenges To Come? (All Things Digital)
With customers unhappy at the pace with which Microsoft has delivered a promised Windows Phone 7 update, Joe Belfiore (vice president and director of Windows Phone Program Management) apologized both for the slowness of the update and comments that indicated that Microsoft was further along with the update than it actually was. Challenges with these updates raise questions about how timely Microsoft will be in delivering a more substantive update to the operating system.
Microsoft And Telefonica Partner To Use Azure For App Development In The Cloud (mocoNews)
Microsoft announced a new deal with the multinational mobile operator Telefonica to integrate Azure cloud-based development framework with Telefonica’s open-API project, BlueVia. Under the new partnership, developers will be able to create apps in Microsoft’s NET Framework, Microsoft Silverlight and Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. This is not just Microsoft’s play to push its own Windows Phone 7 operating system. Azure has been used to develop and serve apps for various mobile platforms.
Executive Shuffle: Microsoft Hires Ex-Oracle To Replace India Head (The Times Of India)
Microsoft has named former managing director of Oracle’s India operations, Bhaskar Pramanik, chairman of its India unit. Pramanik will oversee sales, marketing and services operations of Microsoft India. He replaces Ravi Venkatesan, who quit Microsoft India in February. Venkatesan was the second top official to quit Microsoft India in six months after former managing director Rajan Anandan, who was named head of Google’s operations in January.
Daily Trader: Goldman Sachs Mutual Funds Are Buying MSFT (Seeking Alpha)
Goldman funds increased holdings of Microsoft by 3.2%. The company has a market cap of ~$208 billion, and offers a $0.64 (2.5%) dividend. The stock currently trades at a P/E of 11x. Microsoft is a relatively safe and mature company, but is also working hard to expand its business. They recently released Internet Explorer 9 and have entered into a partnership with Nokia in an attempt to build their mobile phone software business. On the other hand, the company has killed production on its Zune music player, in what appears to be a defeat to the iPod.
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