THE MICROSOFT INVESTOR: Microsoft Finally Gets With The Program, Refreshes Windows Phone Marketplace

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MSFT Up Against The Tide 
The market is in the red this morning as GDP growth of 1.8% for the first quarter was unchanged and down from analysts’ expectations for more robust growth and new claims for initial jobless benefits unexpectedly rose last week. Shares of MSFT are up strong, over 1.4%, against the broader markets. Upcoming catalysts include entrance in the tablet market; Windows Phone 7 / Mango adoption with hardware partner Nokia; strides against current market leaders in cloud computing; making money in the online business including integration of Skype and improving the search business (retooling the Bing / Yahoo! partnership or just buying them outright); and continued evolution of Kinect and the next generation Xbox console. The stock currently trades at 8x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow, inexpensive compared to historical trading multiples.Microsoft Tests Windows Phone Marketplace App Store (CNet)
Microsoft is sharing more details about the upcoming refresh to the online Windows Phone Marketplace application store. During the Mango reveal, the company announced that it will be offering a web portal version of its Windows Phone Marketplace. Just like the iTunes App Store, Android Market, and Amazon Appstore for Android, a web-based Marketplace will give users the option to browse and download apps from their PC, and install them onto the phone. Welcome to the mobile revolution Microsoft! You made it.

Einhorn Says Ballmer Must Go! (The New York Times)
Noted hedge fund investor David Einhorn, with Greenlight Capital, was one of yesterday’s speakers at the Ira Sohn investment conference (a forum where fund managers like to showcase ideas). One of his best ideas, Microsoft. However Mr. Einhorn called for the removal of Steve Ballmer, telling the audience that his leadership was the biggest overhang on the company’s stock price and that the company has floundered under his stewardship, missing major opportunities and wasting money on ill-conceived mergers and acquisitions. Can’t say I blame him for the frustration. Read more at Business Insider.

If Microsoft Stop Generating Revenue, It Could Survive Over A Year On Cash (Seeking Alpha)
If you prefer investing in stocks where you know the company has enough cash to cover several quarters of operating expenses, you might be interested in Microsoft. Current cash holdings at $50.15 billion versus average quarterly operating expenses over the last four quarters at $10.42 billion means the company can pay 4.81 quarters worth of average quarterly operating expense without needing to generate revenue. The stock has lost 5.15% over the last year and really hasn’t done much the last decade.

Microsoft Is A High-Yield, Low-Risk Tech Stock To Own (The Motley Fool)
Want to invest in promising high-yield, low-risk tech stocks that meet the following criteria: Market cap > $1 billion, payout ration 0%? Look no further than Microsoft. The company has a market-cap of $200+ billion, a payout ratio of 23% and 3-year dividend growth of 42% with a dividend yield of 2.7%