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News For MSFT From The Last 14 Days
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November 25, 2015
12:58 EDTMSFTShares of HP companies diverge following last combined report
Shares of the two newly created public companies from the Hewlett-Packard split diverged after reporting quarterly results. WHAT'S NEW: Shares of HP Inc (HPQ), which focuses on personal computers and printers, fell, while shares of its counterpart Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), which sells equipment, services, and software to businesses, rose after reporting fourth quarter results after the close on Tuesday. This was their last report as a combined company. HP INC: HP Inc reported Q4 earnings per share of 93c, below average analyst estimates of 96c on revenue of $25.7B, also below analyst estimates of $26.6B. Looking ahead, HP Inc forecast its first quarter profit to be 33c to 38c per share, well below the average analyst estimate of 42c per share. Personal Systems revenue was down 14% in the quarter, as consumers turned away from personal computers and rely more on mobile devices. The company also reported that Q4 printing revenue was down 14%. On the Q4 conference call, the CEO of the newly created HP Inc, Dion Weisler said that Q4 was a "difficult" quarter and "somewhat weaker than we expected." Weisler anticipates the PC market to remain "challenged." The printing division also saw accelerated revenue declines in the quarter with currency movements that have accelerated pricing pressures more than the company anticipated. HEWLETT PACKARD ENTERPRISE: Hewlett Packard Enterprise, or HPE, reported Q4 revenue of 14.1B, above the average analyst view of $13.5B. This is the second consecutive quarter of year-over-year, constant currency revenue growth for the Hewlett Packard Enterprise segments. HPE also reaffirmed its fiscal year 2016 profit forecast of $1.85-$1.95 a share. Meg Whitman, president and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, said "Hewlett Packard Enterprise is off to a very strong start. The new company's business segments delivered a second consecutive quarter of constant currency revenue growth in Q4, and we believe that momentum will accelerate into FY16." ANALYST VIEWS: UBS analyst Steven Milunovich, who reiterated the firms Buy rating and $18.50 price target on HPE, noted that investors may be encouraged that HPE reiterated its FY16 EPS view. The analyst said improving fundamentals make HP Enterprise's stock more attractive. The firm said the company is positioned for more improvements and expects solid near-term results to lift the stock. Another analyst, Richard Kugele of Needham, who maintained a Hold rating on HPE, said the firms opinion remains unchanged on shares. Needham is focused on the storage and server opportunity for HPE. The firm sees the server segment to show slight growth in FY16 but expects the storage situation to be more complicated with a possibility of pricing war breaking out in All Flash Array, or AFA. As far as the Cloud segment, Needham is more optimistic about the company's consulting arrangement with Microsoft's (MSFT) Azure than it is with Cloud directly. As far as HP Inc, Needham analyst David Rold downgraded the shares to Hold from Buy saying further share upside will require "real improvement in the underlying business." Some of the valuation argument has played out, while the Printing market has turned sharply lower over the past three months, Rold tells investors in a post-earnings research note. He believes "incremental pressures" will limit the stock's upside. PRICE ACTION: Shares of HP Inc are down over 13% to $12.73, while Hewlett Packard Enterprise shares are higher by over 2% to $13.99.
09:18 EDTMSFTHP Enterprise announces Azure cloud partnership with Microsoft
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November 24, 2015
16:00 EDTMSFTOptions Update; November 24, 2015
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures up 13c to 19.04, Option volume leaders: AAPL FB NFLX BAC PFE AMZN CHK TWTR GE SUNE DE AGN AAL MSFT INTC X BABA A
05:56 EDTMSFTMicrosoft shares workforce numbers in global diversity report
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November 23, 2015
10:18 EDTMSFTGameStop plunges on weaker than expected Q3 earnings
Shares of GameStop (GME) are plunging in morning trading after the company reported downbeat third quarter earnings on lower new software and hardware sales and delays in store openings. The company also provided guidance for the fourth quarter and reiterated its outlook for fiscal year 2015. WHAT'S NEW: Before the market open, GameStop reported Q3 adjusted earnings per share of 54c on revenue of $2.02B, below analysts' consensus estimates of 59c and $2.14B, respectively. GameStop added that global same-store sales for the quarter were down 1.1% year over year, with SSS down 1.7% in the United States and up 0.3% internationally. The company said foreign currency negatively impacted EPS by 2c and sales by about $100M and noted that it recorded $1.6M of one-time charges as a result of non-recurring acquisition-related costs. GameStop said new hardware sales declined 20.4%, while new software sales were down 9.3%; pre-owned sales were up 0.6%, the company said. Commenting on the quarter, Chief Executive Officer Paul Raines said that the company's results fell to the low end of its guidance range -- 53c-60c for EPS on SSS up 1% to up 4% -- due to "lower than expected new software and hardware sales and delays in Technology Brands store openings." The company provided an outlook for the fourth quarter, forecasting EPS of $2.12-$2.32, below analysts' estimates of $2.37, and SSS ranging from down 1% to up 6%. Despite the disappointing Q3 earnings and weak Q4 guidance, GameStop affirmed its FY15 EPS view of $3.66-$3.86 and added that it expects full year same store sales to grow 2%-6%. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Prior to the retailer's Q3 earnings report, Steven Russolillo of the Wall Street Journal's Ahead of the tape said that GameStop was "running out of lives" since it has experienced an increasingly challenging video game retail environment due to a rising number of shoppers buying games digitally. Russolillo noted that GameStop's resale business is still profitable and may pare losses somewhat. In addition, NPD Group reported earlier this month a 3% year over year decline in game software retail sales in the U.S. in October. The loss came even despite the major launch of Microsoft's (MSFT) flagship title "Halo 5: Guardians." STREET RESEARCH: Piper Jaffray analyst Michael J. Olson said that GameStop is "clearly" seeing an impact from increasing digital software sales, but that the firm expects digital expansion to ease during the holiday quarter. Olson added that the video game industry is currently in the "renewed growth phase" and that he expects trends in the sector to be strong heading into 2016. The analyst maintained an Overweight rating and $57 price target on the company's stock. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, GameStop slipped 13.93% to $33.89. The company will hold its earnings conference call at 11am. OTHERS TO WATCH: Video game makers are also lower this morning. Shares of Electronic Arts (EA) are down 2.26%, Take Two Interactive (TTWO) is down 0.84% and Activision Blizzard is down 1.55%.
09:39 EDTMSFTActive equity options trading on open
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08:58 EDTMSFTMicrosoft price target raised to $65 from $55 at Pacific Crest
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07:18 EDTMSFTMicrosoft price target raised to $60 from $56 at UBS
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06:30 EDTMSFTGameStop sees challenge around growing number of digital shoppers, WSJ says
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November 20, 2015
10:38 EDTMSFTAnalyst sees 'cloud cold war' coming between Google, Microsoft, Amazon
Recent comments by Google (GOOG) indicate that the tech giant plans to make a major push in the cloud infrastructure market, Deutsche Bank analyst Ross Sandler wrote in a note to investors today. Google's initiatives in this area could significantly boost its stock price and signify the start of a "cold war" in the space, but are unlikely to negatively affect the number two player in the area, Microsoft (MSFT), Sandler believes. WHAT'S NEW: Google has not been aggressively expanding its cloud infrastructure business, but recent comments by the tech giant indicates that this situation is changing, Sandler wrote. Google executive Urs Holzle said that the tech giant plans to aggressively expand its cloud platform, and projected that the company's revenue from the cloud could surpass its ad revenue by 2020, the analyst noted. The note comes after Google acquired a small platform-as-a-service company called bebop and appointed its CEO, VmWare (VMW) co-founder Diane Greene, to lead a new cloud business. Based on Hozle's comment, Google is seeking to boost its cloud revenue to $100B by 2020, Sandler estimated. If the tech giant even "gets part of the way" to meeting the goal, the growth in its cloud business will boost its market cap by hundreds of billions of dollars, Sandler believes. Google's push in the cloud is negative for Microsoft, but it will take years for Google to build up its cloud business to the point where it's competitive with Microsoft's cloud offering, Azure, the analyst contended. Amazon (AMZN), which Google also much catch, is the runaway leader in the cloud market. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Google may look to make acquisitions in the software-as-a-service sector to build up its cloud business, and vendors like Red Hat (RHT) which sell to cloud infrastructure providers have added a major new customer, Sandler wrote. Major software-as-a-service providers include (CRM), Workday (WDAY), and Netsuite (N). PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Alphabet Class A shares gained 1.5% to $771.37, Microsoft slid 1.1% to $53.33 and Amazon rose fractionally to $662.87.
06:20 EDTMSFTSony mulling bringing PS2 games to PS4, WSJ says
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November 19, 2015
08:18 EDTMSFTMicrosoft participates in a panel discussion
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November 18, 2015
16:01 EDTMSFTOptions Update; November 18, 2015
iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures down 1.39 to 19.44. Option volume leaders: AAPL NBG TGT NFLX F FB QCOM SUNE GPRO MSFT
14:49 EDTMSFTEarnings Watch: Salesforce shares up 14% since last earnings report
Salesforce (CRM) is scheduled to report third quarter results after the market close on Wednesday, November 18, with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET. Salesforce is a provider of enterprise cloud computing solutions that include apps and platform services. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 19c on revenue of $1.7B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 17c-20c on revenue of $1.68B-$1.72B. On its last earnings conference call, Salesforce gave Q3 EPS guidance of 18c-19c and revenue guidance of $1.69B-$1.7B. It also gave FY16 EPS guidance of 70c-72c and FY16 revenue of $6.6B-$6.63B. The company expects FY16 operating cash flow growth of approximately 34%-35%. Salesforce said it is now on pace to reach $7B run rate later this year. LAST QUARTER: On August 20, Salesforce reported second quarter EPS of 19c, beating the consensus analyst forecast of 18c. The company's revenue came in at $1.63B, topping the consensus estimate of $1.60B. It reported deferred revenue on balance of $3.03B as of July 31 and Q2 subscription and support revenue of $1.52B. Salesforce added that Q2 was the "best quarter ever" for the company due to momentum in Europe and growth in the adoption of its core platform. NEWS: Salesforce and Western Union (WU) announced an agreement for Western Union to use Sales Cloud, Community Cloud, Analytics Cloud and App Cloud to automate previously paper-based processes. Salesforce also announced plans to extend its strategic partnership with Microsoft (MSFT). The company said it would double its workforce in the Seattle area. STREET RESEARCH: Brean Capital said Salesforce should be a core holding due its new cloud targets, operating margin expansion and revenue growth in the 20%-30% range year over year. Jeffries said it was impressed with the company's DreamForce conference, but kept an Underperform rating on the stock because the net present value of new business may be negative for Salesforce at this time. In late September, Oppenheimer said that the company's checks were positive. It added that Salesforce's share of the market could be increasing and adds that Salesforce's platform strategy is becoming more popular with customers. PRICE ACTION: Salesforce shares are up over 14% since the company's Q2 report. In afternoon trading ahead of Thursday's report, Salesforce shares are up fractionally.
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