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Ellis Hamburger, Business Insider
MSFT Down As Company Pays Nokia Bank
Stocks are rising as the Fed vows to keep interest rates low, jobless claims spike although still point to recovery and one of the world’s best bellwethers announces smashing earnings and construction outlook for 2012. Shares of MSFT are down to flat after having a decent run. Upcoming catalysts 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 7.9x Enterprise Value / TTM Free Cash Flow.Nokia Confirms It Sold 1M+ Windows Phones (paidContent)
Nokia’s reported earnings and the numbers are not pretty. The company confirmed analyst estimates that it has sold over a million Lumia Windows Phone handsets. Nokia currently has two models Windows Phone devices in the market: the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710. Unfortunately, that didn’t stop a horrible 31% slide in its total smartphone sales compared with last year with revenues down 21%. The company and is planning to launch a new 4G version in the U.S. in March of this year.
A $100 Nokia Lumia 900 Could Be A Game-Changer (BGR)
AT&T and Nokia are planning to launch the Nokia Lumia 900 in the U.S. at just $99.99 with a two-year contract. That’s $100 less than its main competitor, the iPhone 4S. That price point would be a game changer for Windows Phone. It makes sense when you think about how much money Nokia and Microsoft are spending promoting the launch. This could be the boost Nokia (and Microsoft) needs to get some traction in the U.S.
Microsoft Paid Nokia Quarter Of A Billion, And That’s Just The First Payment (SlashGear)
Let’s hope it pays off. Microsoft paid Nokia $250 million in last quarter to switch to Windows Phone. And that’s only the first payment. The $250 million is part of a series of “platform support payments” Microsoft will pay Nokia to continue using and collaborating on Windows Phone. These support payments in combination with “software royalty commitments” will amount in to billions of dollars in the long run. Previously, Nokia had committed much of its smartphone efforts to the antiquated and ultimately doomed Symbian operating system.
Microsoft To Expand Xbox To Other Mobile Platforms (Forbes)
Microsoft is trying to make Xbox 360 an all-encompassing entertainment hub, from live TV to on-demand streaming, to social networking and music. Now the company is looking to continue that mindset even when you’re not at home and expand the gaming platform to be fully immersed in the mobile world. Given recent comments, the company is no doubt preparing to bring a fully integrated Xbox Live experience to Android phones, iPhones, and tablets to extend the Xbox brand something beyond the living room. If you can’t beat them, join them.
Xbox 720 rumoured To Crush Nintendo’s Wii U Console (The Wall Street Journal)
rumours concerning Microsoft’s next gaming console are nothing new. Yet a recent reports site that Microsoft is gunning for a late 2013 shipment date for a new Xbox game console, possibly called “Xbox 720.” The new console is reported to have 6x the graphics processing power of the Xbox 360 and provide 20% greater performance than rival Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U console. Whether or not the rumours prove true and despite still being incredibly successful, Microsoft is due for a console refresh. In the six years since the launch, much has changed in the gaming industry with the rise of casual games. Other rumours include not being able to play used games.
Microsoft Stock Looking Strong, Just Needs Volume Buyers (Seeking Alpha)
Microsoft is looking strong on the charts after releasing earnings last week. The company is undervalued with a forward looking P/E of 11x. Proven strength in earnings, low debt, 75% institutional and insider ownership and a dividend yield of 2.69% make Microsoft very attractive. The stock is now trading around ~$29 after breaking above resistance and the momentum is bullish and increasing but volume isn’t in the move yet. When the market gets behind Microsoft it will go to $37.50.
Valuation Too Rich, Wait For A Pullback (Seeking Alpha)
Microsoft stock has been on a tear lately. But earnings estimates for the company have actually been coming down while the stock has gone from under $25 to almost $30 in the last two months. Microsoft is a long term investment. The stock offers a nice dividend, which should increase going forward with financial flexibility and the company is buying back large amounts of stock. In no way is this stock dead money, but you can likely get it cheaper.