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January 24, 2013
13:56 EDTMSFTEarnings Preview: Windows 8, Surface results in focus when Microsoft reports
Microsoft (MSFT) is scheduled to report Q2 results after the market close on Thursday, January 24, with a conference call scheduled for 5:30 pm ET. Microsoft, a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, sells software and business services globally and also markets hardware, notably the XBOX and the new Surface tablet... EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for EPS of 75c on revenue of $21.53B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 66c-82c on revenue of $19.94B-$23.32B... LAST QUARTER: Microsoft reported Q1 adjusted EPS of 65c against estimates for 56c on GAAP revenue of $16.01B against estimates for $16.42B. Microsoft reported Q1 non-GAAP revenue of $17.36B. The company said its Q1 revenue was impacted by a challenging PC market, normal purchasing slowdowns in advance of upcoming product launches and tough economic conditions in Europe... NEWS AND RESEARCH: This Tuesday, CNBC's David Faber reported Microsoft (MSFT) is in talks to invest between $1B-$3B in Dell's (DELL) leveraged buyout, which may be mezzanine financing in the form of preferred shares. On January 15, Facebook (FB) announced that Microsoft's Bing search engine was a partner on its new Graph Search product. During this month, research firm Gartner announced its estimate that worldwide PC shipments declined 4.9% from the prior year to 90.3M units in the fourth quarter of 2012, while IDC estimated that worldwide PC sales fell 6.4% to 89.8M units during the holiday period. Also this month, several analysts have sent downbeat notes on Microsoft to investors. Morgan Stanley downgraded Microsoft to an Equal Weight rating on January 10, citing disappointing Windows 8 sales, continued PC market weakness and margin pressures. More recently, Atlantic Equities lowered its price target on shares to $35 from $39 to reflect the weak start to Windows 8, but maintained its Overweight rating due to valuation. Stifel Nicolaus also said that after reviewing third party data, the firm believes that Windows 8 sales have been weaker than expected, but added it expects Windows 8 sales to rebound in the second half of this year and kept a Buy rating on Microsoft shares... PRICE ACTION: Since the day after last quarter's report, shares of Microsoft have lagged the DJIA significantly. Microsoft has declined over 5% since October 19, while the Dow is up more than 2% over the same time period. However, in afternoon trading ahead of tonight's report, Microsoft is up about 1% to trade near $28.
News For MSFT From The Last 14 Days
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December 24, 2014
13:07 EDTMSFTSony confirms distribution of 'The Interview' beginning Christmas Eve
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08:46 EDTMSFTRPX Corp. validates unique role with Rockstar patent deal, says Stephens
Stephens views RPX Corp.'s (RPXC) syndicated acquisition of patents from the Rockstar Consortium, which is the group previously formed by Apple (AAPL), Blackberry (BBRY), Ericsson (ERIC), Microsoft (MSFT), and Sony (SNE) to purchase patents from Nortel, as a "major validation" of the company's unique ability to serve as a patent clearinghouse. The firm maintains its Overweight rating and $18 price target on RPX Corp. shares.
December 22, 2014
07:29 EDTMSFTFitness band maker Fitbit plans IPO for next year, Bloomberg reports
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December 19, 2014
13:33 EDTMSFTVirnetX to receive $23M from Microsoft in patent settlement
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11:54 EDTMSFTRed Hat soars to 52-week high after beat and raise quarter
Shares of open source software solutions provider Red Hat (RHT) are rallying after the company’s third quarter results surpassed analysts’ consensus estimates and it raised its outlook for fiscal 2015. WHAT'S NEW: Last night, Red Hat reported Q3 adjusted earnings per share of 42c and revenue of $455.9M, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of 40c and $451.39M, respectively. Q3 subscription revenue was $395M, up 15% year-over-year, while operating cash flow of $133M was up 40% year-over-year. CFO Charlie Peters noted that strong performance in the quarter was driven by outstanding sales execution. He said, “performance this quarter with large deals was exceptional, setting new records in number of deals over $5M in a quarter and deals over $10M in a Q3.” Peters also announced his intention to retire in the next twelve months. WHAT’S NOTABLE: Looking ahead to Q4, Red Hat forecast EPS of 40c-41c and revenue of $456M-$459M, compared to consensus of 41c and $459.39M, respectively. The company raised its outlook for FY15 EPS to $1.57-$1.58 from $1.53-$1.55, versus consensus of $1.54. It also boosted the bottom end its FY15 revenue outlook to $1.78B-$1.79B from $1.77B-$1.79B, compared to the consensus of $1.78B. ANALYST REACTION: This morning, four research firms - Piper Jaffray, Stifel, UBS, and Oppenheimer - all raised their respective price targets on Red Hat. Each cited the company’s stronger than expected Q3 results. All four maintained a Buy or equivalent rating on the shares and among the four Oppenheimer took its price target up to the highest level, increasing its target on Red Hat to $80 from $74. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Red Hat rose $6.98, or 11.4%, to $68.48 on nearly three times its average daily trading volume. Earlier in the session, the stock hit a fresh 52-week high of $70.13. Including today's advance, the shares have gained approximately 40% over the past 12 months. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other companies in the software and cloud space include Oracle (ORCL), LogMeIn (LOGM) VMware (VMW), and Microsoft (MSFT).
December 18, 2014
16:06 EDTMSFTNetSuite names Fred Studer Chief Marketing Officer
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11:49 EDTMSFTOracle soars to 52-week high after Q2 results beat estimates
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11:34 EDTMSFTMicrosoft to sell MixRadio service to LINE, terms not disclosed
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06:50 EDTMSFTGoogle to seek dismissal of Android antitrust lawsuit, Reuters reports
Google (GOOG) will try to convince a federal judge today to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that its practices related to its Android operating system violate antitrust laws, according to Reuters. The plaintiffs allege that Google forces handset makers to restrict competing apps such as Microsoft's (MSFT) search engine, Bing, the news service stated. Reference Link
06:36 EDTMSFTMicrosoft may be planning head-worn gaming device for 2015, DigiTimes reports
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December 17, 2014
10:42 EDTMSFTDigital River spikes after renewing agreement with Microsoft
Digital River (DRIV) shares are sharply higher this morning after the company agreed to extend the terms of its distribution agreement with Microsoft (MSFT). WHAT'S NEW: Digital River this morning disclosed in a filing that it has agreed to extend the term of its Operations Digital Distribution Agreement with Microsoft to March 31, 2017. Additionally, Microsoft can extend the expiration date for up to four separate six month renewal terms, according to Digital River. Earlier this month, Digital River shares declined up to 24% after disclosing that the company granted Microsoft an extension to December 19 from December 1 as the deadline by which Microsoft was required to provide notice to the company of its decision as to whether it would choose to extend the expiration date of the agreement. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Digital River also announced this morning that the Federal Trade Commission informed the company on December 5 that it granted early termination of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act waiting period for the company's acquisition by an investor group led by Siris Capital for $26 per share in cash, or about $840M. The "go-shop" period expired on December 7, and Digital River did not receive a competing proposal. Digital River says the merger is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015. PRICE ACTION: Digital River shares are up $7.58, or 45%, to $24.44 in morning trading.
10:14 EDTMSFTHP best way to play coming PC sales outperformance, Citi says
Sales of PCs will be at least flat next year, before growing slightly in 2016 and 2017, Citigroup wrote in a note to investors today. The firm identified HP (HPQ) as the best way to play better than expected PC sales. WHAT'S NEW: Although many believe that PCs will become extinct, there are several reasons why sales of personal computers will begin growing again, Citi analyst Jim Suva contended. Sales of commercial PCs in emerging markets should increase over the long-term, as those PCs are aging, according to Suva. He estimated that commercial PCs in emerging markets account for 27% of the total PC market. Meanwhile, tablets were supposed to replace PCs, but tablet sales growth slowed to just 8% this year, indicating that tablets are becoming less of a threat to PCs, he wrote. Additionally, some believe that PC demand was inflated by a rush to replace computers running Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows XP operating system this year after the company stopped supporting XP, but Suva believe that PC demand growth in 2014 was more driven by a need to buy new computers following a lull in growth in 2012-2013 than by the XP situation. As a result, the analyst estimates that the XP phenomenon will only reduce next year's PC growth by 1%, versus the 3%+ reduction that investors fear. HP is the best way to play the PC rebound, wrote Suva, who raised his price target on the company's shares to $46 from $40 and kept a Buy rating on the stock. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Suva raised his price target on hard disk drive maker Western Digital (WDX) to $125 from $110 and on its competitor, Seagate (STX), to $74 from $70, as he noted that the companies obtain about 50% of their revenue from PCs. He kept Buy ratings on both names. PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Hewlett-Packard gained 2.7% to $38.32, Western Digital rose 1.7% to $106.30, and Seagate climbed 1% to $63.89.
09:18 EDTMSFTTyler Tech signs contract with Buffalo and Ford Erie Public Bridge Authority
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09:16 EDTMSFTDigital River renews pact with Microsoft
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06:44 EDTMSFTGoogle opponents lobbying state attorneys general, NY Times says
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December 16, 2014
09:59 EDTMSFTOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
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07:37 EDTMSFTMicrosoft downgraded at BofA/Merrill
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06:05 EDTMSFTMicrosoft downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
December 15, 2014
11:09 EDTMSFTSkype app to enable real-time voice translation, The Verge says
A new app from Microsoft's Skype enables voice calls in English or Spanish to be translated to the other language in real time, according to The Verge. The app will be available as a preview starting today, The Verge added. Reference Link
06:06 EDTMSFTFacebook stops including results from Bing on site, Reuters reports
A Facebook (FB) spokesperson has confirmed that the company has stopped including results from Microsoft’s (MSFT) Bing search engine on its site as it has revamped its own search offerings, Reuters reported on Friday. Facebook recently introduced a tool that allows users to quickly find past comments and other information posted by their friends on the social networking site. The spokesperson comments that "We continue to have a great partnership with Microsoft in lots of different areas." Reference Link
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