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521 comments

Simple solution.... (5, Insightful)

ThisIsNotMyHandel (1013943) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068562)

Simple solution to a simple problem. SELL THE STOCK.

Re:Simple solution.... (5, Insightful)

fsckmnky (2505008) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068746)

Many people fail to execute the simple solution, as it might require them to admit they were wrong to buy it in the first place. It's a well known psychological shortfall who's proper term I can't recall atm. Like anti-buyers-remorse.

Re:Simple solution.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38069218)

Judging by MS' flat share price for the past decade, I'd say many people have sold the stock. My guess is that what you saw in this meeting is the people who were either too dumb to sell it, or are people who are just sitting on it and collecting dividend checks. The latter of course don't really care too much about things like stock holders meetings, just so long as the dividends keep rolling in.

Re:Simple solution.... (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38069250)

That would devalue the stock more.

If MS bought some of its own shares that would limit supply and increase its price.

Just now they're "disgruntled"? (5, Interesting)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068570)

http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=MSFT+Interactive#symbol=MSFT;range=my [yahoo.com]

Just look at that chart. Look at it, guys. It's been down and flat since 2000. Yes, that chart is split-adjusted. All Y! stock charts are split adjusted. If you want growth, Microsoft is not where you want to be.

And the outlook is not encouraging. Just look at Windows 8.

--
BMO

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (4, Interesting)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068614)

Haven't there been some pretty fat dividends on occasion? I really wish the Y! charts would include an option to represent present value of a DRIP [fool.com] investment at the beginning of the period.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (-1, Flamebait)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068626)

Dividends are not growth.

Learn stock basics.

--
BMO

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38068686)

Dividends are still profit, which is what all shareholders are after whatever form it comes in.

Learn economics basics.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (-1, Flamebait)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068738)

Oh, look, a softie redefining words at whim.

You're an idiot.

Here, have another chart. This is growth.

You should have bought AAPL, ya dummy.

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=MSFT&t=5y&l=off&z=l&q=l&c=aapl [yahoo.com]

--
BMO

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (4, Interesting)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068854)

Play that AAPL chart from 1988 through 1998 and tell me how smart you would feel in December of 1998 after 10 years of loyal investing?

Any idiot can play history back and point out what you should have done. I worked at a publicly traded company that "grew" from 6 to 240 in a space of less than 2 years. The trick is in picking the bottom and the top _when_ it's happening, not after the fact.

A reliable 10% return will beat 90% of the stocks you can name today. They have an annual tradition in Texas called the "running of the bulls" where they stripe off a pasture and measure the "deposits" left by the horned male bovines and invest according to their percentages. The bulls regularly out-perform the previous year's best analysts on Wall Street.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (-1, Flamebait)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38069112)

>1988 to 1998

Oh look the years that the company was left to colored sugar-water salesmen and bean counters. Not the dynamic and growing company it is now.

Yes, and if I had been born in an earlier decade, I could have bought IBM when there was a market of "four to five computers"

Moron.

--
BMO

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38068892)

And you're an asshole. You should have learned how to be a decent human, ya fucknut.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (3, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38069068)

Depends on "when" and how long you got in.

Look at a charts more representative of the long term investor:

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?t=my&s=MSFT&l=on&z=l&q=l&c=aapl&c=%5EGSPC&c=%5EIXIC [yahoo.com]

Microsoft has been a rather stable investment over the years, and held its value well during the recent
crunch.

That said, some years ago, after Microsoft paid off my house and put my kid thru college, I jumped ship to Apple.
Now I'm looking for somewhere else to jump, because I figure Apple has run its course.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (5, Insightful)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068718)

Dividends are not growth.

Learn stock basics.

I'm an investor, I care about DI/DO - dollars in / dollars out. Dividends matter. Give me a flat stock price and reliable 20% dividends and I don't care at all about growth.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (-1, Flamebait)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068762)

Then go own stock in your local gas company.

It's not growing either.

--
BMO

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38068988)

You've got too much stock in your own gas... and that's an industry that's growing faster than most. At least in this thread. Be entitled to your opinion, fine, but grow the fuck up and learn how to be polite. Fucking 5-year old.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (2)

elbonia (2452474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068914)

What stock gives you reliable 20% dividends? Even better show me a stock which has given half of that for the last 3 years

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (2, Informative)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38069006)

The yield is 3 percent.

Forward Annual Dividend : 3.00%
Trailing Annual Dividend : 0.48
Trailing Annual Dividend : 1.80%
5 Year Average Dividend : 2.00%

Source: http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=msft [yahoo.com]

Where you get 20 percent, I have no idea. Check your math.

--
BMO

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38069076)

Gold is up on average 17% annually for the past ten years. No dividend though (and a 28% 'collectibles' tax on gains).

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38069278)

The Canadian oil trusts were 10% for years before the Canadian government started taxing them at the corporate level. PWE and PGH come to mind. There are others.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (2)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068948)

Who the hell has a flat stock price and reliable 20 percent dividends? Please tell me so I can hand them all my money. It sure ain't Microsoft.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38069258)

Who the hell has a flat stock price and reliable 20 percent dividends? Please tell me so I can hand them all my money.

Me too. Although, you should remember that past performance is no guarantee of future returns....

I spotted PG (Proctor & Gamble) in the late 1990s, and their 10 year performance at that point was impressively reliable... now I'm kinda glad I didn't have any money to invest in it at the time.

I'm just saying, that I'd be happy with fat dividends, or growth... MS has been paying 3% lately, not too fat, but I was remembering their one-time 15%-ish dividend in 2004, if they did that every year, I'd buy a chunk of their stock. I have held a chunk of O [yahoo.com] for about 10 years now... it has been good to me, better than a lot of the "growth" stocks.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38068724)

Dividend not important? Dividend is an integral part of a stock ROI, learn your basic. At 0.80 per year or 3%, over ten years, it would be equivalent to a 30% increase in the stock price.

Of course tax treatment is different though, but cash is cash.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (4, Interesting)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068898)

>Dividend not important?

Did I say that? No, I did not. I said "If you want growth, you don't go to Microsoft"

The local utilities give out dividends. If you want steady income, that's what you buy. It's boring. It's low risk. It's slow/minuscule/nonexistent growth.

Microsoft has lost the battle on the server end and on the mobile and embedded markets. The only place they are dominant is on the desktop, and when you have 90 percent of the market, there's not much to grow into. Microsoft suffers from a lack of imagination, stump ponds / swamps full of deadwood, and institutional inertia.

That's why the stock price and market cap of Microsoft is moribund.

If you want growth, go elsewhere. QED.

--
BMO

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38069310)

You appear to be a moron.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (2)

ckaminski (82854) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068882)

Growth only applies if you wish to play the stock market "gambling" game.

Profits (and dividends) matter if you really want to make reliable money.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (1, Interesting)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068918)

Oh look, another fucktard who likes contributing to the mentality that has fucked the world's economy. GROWTH GROWTH GROWTH, gotta have nothing but GROWTH. Can't sell stocks and get big fat commissions without GROWTH. Dividends are returns for the investors, GROWTH is return for the speculator and Wall Street investment banker. Go crawl back under a rock where you came from asshole.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38069300)

In what way does one benefit from owning a stock if that stock doesn't increase in value? It is not rational to sink a bunch of money into something just so it can stay flat or trickle away. Given a choice between letting money sit and lose value to inflation, or investing it in something that will make one richer, it is perfectly rational to pick the profitable option.

This is how humans work. Rational humans, anyway.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38069292)

Dividends are not growth.

Learn stock basics.

--
BMO

And this f*** attitude is exactly why the economy is screwed. Give me a long term dividend producing stock over so-called "growth" any day.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (2)

NFN_NLN (633283) | more than 2 years ago | (#38069298)

Dividends are not growth.

Learn stock basics.

--
BMO

Where I live (and report income), dividends are taxed at a lower rate than capital gains.

So, comparing apples to apples, you are better off getting the same return in the form of dividends.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068832)

They're currently paying a 3% dividend (up from 1.5% when they started) with a $3/share special dividend in 2004.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (4, Informative)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068894)

It has a 3% yield, which isn't exactly stellar. You can probably get that from a fixed-rate vehicle with no exposure to Microsoft's dwindling relevance.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068928)

I was thinking of the $3 payout in 2004, yeah, MS is not a growth company, unless you believe they're going to set the world on fire with Nokia, or Kinect, or something else they haven't advertised yet... I don't (believe), and that's why I'm not invested in MS.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (1)

tsalmark (1265778) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068646)

Well most stocks went down over the same period and MSFT has been increasing their dividend slowly. I don't and wont own any but for a large company it has not done too badly. Going forward I can not imagine it ever growing at the historic rates, they are just too large and intrenched, but I don't expect they will do too badly either.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068650)

http://dividend.com/dividend-stocks/technology/application-software/msft-microsoft/ [dividend.com]

It's about $.80 per share per year now. Idk where to look for past dividend payouts, but figuring this is steady, the past decade it comes to $8 a share, about 1/3 of it's price.

Now, I don't fee like calculating what if the early shares were reinvested, someone else can do that, so I'll stop the calculation theres, but at the surface, 33% growth over a decade isn't exactly encouraging.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (5, Informative)

Antony T Curtis (89990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068668)

It's more telling when you add GOOG and AAPL to the same graph...

Over the last 10 years, MSFT is near 0% growth, GOOG is a little under 500% growth.... AAPL is around 4000% growth.

That makes MSFT a poor long-term investment choice.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (4, Informative)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068768)

Over the last 10 years, MSFT is near 0% growth, GOOG is a little under 500% growth.... AAPL is around 4000% growth.

That makes MSFT a poor long-term investment choice.

Except that, as the disclaimer says, past performance is no guarantee of future results. Not that I'm buying any MSFT.

An oldie but goodie: The Ballmer Stagnation [zdnet.com]

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068932)

> An oldie but goodie: The Ballmer Stagnation

LOL! I like the y axis.

"This gives a little bit of an exaggerated sense of how much Microsoft grew under Gates."

Uh..yeah, it does.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (3, Informative)

inviolet (797804) | more than 2 years ago | (#38069270)

An oldie but goodie: The Ballmer Stagnation [zdnet.com]

Not only does that chart use an irregular Y axis that makes Gates' performance seem more steady and reliable than it actually was...

...but it doesn't bother to mention the dot-com bubble popping in ~2000. The fact that Ballmer kept their stock price up, while everyone else was losing theirs, is no small feat.

Please don't post any more dishonest crap from zdnet. I passionately distrust and loathe Microsoft, especially now that the B&N revelations are out. There is so much to hate about them, we don't also need to fabricate indictments of Ballmer.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (2, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068810)

MSFT is a poor choice just because other companies have performed better? That's a little rash. There are plenty of other companies that have performed a lot worse, and holding a diversified portfolio is always a good idea. (You may remember a time when AAPL's chart was not so stellar.) Also, as other people have noted, MSFT pays dividends, which may not be "growth" but are definitely returns on the investment. Neither GOOG nor AAPL pays dividends -- in fact, both seem quite adamant about not paying them -- so you better hope those growth rates hold.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (2)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068900)

Whether a stock pays dividends or not doesn't mean much in the big picture. The only thing that matters is return on investment. I don't care if that comes in the form of dividends or stock price or food stamp vouchers and in that race, MSFT is a loser.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38069308)

It doesn't matter how much a company makes.

Here is what I learned in Finance 101. The goal of any company is to raise the share price and not make money. Investors look for things like insane liquidity ratios. This means assets that you can sell quickly to make money. Having more cash, very sellable assets, and other things to raise cash just in case they do not perform well in the next quarter.

Sure your company is making money now but can you make even more money next quarter? That is the question and selling stuff very quickly reassures the investors the stock price will continue to go up. MS pretty much had so much liquid a decade ago that they bought stocks of other companies. The problem is when the great recession hit they tanked and they were no longer liquid at the price MS paid for them. Even with sales increases it is hard.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38068824)

Don't compare MS the 2 most successful tech company of the last decade. The whole industry looks pale compare to GOOG and AAPL. Although I agree that MS performance was certainly lackluster of the last decade and they are going nowhere fast.

If all companies that didn't do 4000% growth sucks, well 99.9% of companies sucks.

 

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (1)

FrankSchwab (675585) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068950)

And if I had a time machine, I'd go back to Google's IPO, when I convinced our investment club that it was a fad stock with no business model that was soon to be the next pets.com.

Sigh. I guess I'm not a good long-term investment choice either.

The thing is, with hindsight you can always find "great long-term investment choices". The trick, of course, is doing it in the present and not in the past. /frank

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (3, Informative)

tgd (2822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38069002)

Microsoft has payed out nearly its full stock price in dividends during that time. Its also got a better P&E.

That makes it a *great* long-term investment choice. But a big swath of investors that came up during the dot-com boom don't seem to really understand what long-term investment means.

Its *not* a good stock to try getting short term gains, and its not a good stock for growth. But like a lot of the big blue chips, its a great place to sink cash for the long run.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068672)

Just now they're "disgruntled"?

I mean... what did they think? /. posters are disgruntled for ages already.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (1)

Albanach (527650) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068902)

This graph is probably more useful for the average investor.

http://goo.gl/UA2qc [goo.gl]

Over the past five years MS have outperformed the NASDAQ and the S&P500 by 20%

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (5, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068944)

The fact is that Microsoft is very profitable. They make money. Lots and lots of money. The problem is that they treat their investors and their customers like shit. It doesn't matter though, because they're microsoft. AT&T was just like this before they were broken up. They treated everyone like shit because they could and microsoft, the great monopoly of our day does the same. Monopolies don't have to act like other companies because.....they're monopolies.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#38069124)

I'm really hoping their extortion over Android helps change that. I probably have my hopes up.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38068974)

Low UID to troll.

http://www.bing.com/finance/search?q=msft&ss=7&FORM=DTPFIO

http://www.bing.com/finance/search?q=aapl&ss=7&FORM=DTPFIO

What would you trust more to hold your money? 67% tied to fickle consumer products. The market is run by computers, not common sense.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38069234)

May not look encouraging to you, but MOST buzz I've been hearing suggests that most people are excited about the look and potential of Windows 8, me included.

Re:Just now they're "disgruntled"? (4, Insightful)

jbolden (176878) | more than 2 years ago | (#38069340)

Microsoft has tripled earning in the last decade, a long history of solid steady (though slowing) growth. The stock had lots of growth priced in and the stock has delivered growth. Growth is slowing. P/E of under 10, PEG .85, 3 P/S and P/B for a healthy growing company; 44% return on equity. The stock was priced for growth a decade ago and is now priced for value. And all this with a 3% dividend yield!

That's a good stock.

Dividends? (3, Insightful)

XanC (644172) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068584)

Doesn't MSFT pay dividends? You can't just look at the chart of the stock price. The fair way to construct such a chart would be a graph of an investor's money assuming he reinvested the dividends.

There's no excuse for a 15 min Q&A (5, Insightful)

elbonia (2452474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068598)

If Warren Buffet (81) can spend the day answering question for his shareholders, Balmer (55) should have no problem with doing at least 2-3 hours. The only possible reason is that Balmer and Gates knew they didn't have good answers which can be seen here,

http://www.geekwire.com/2011/microsoft-shareholder-meeting [geekwire.com]

I would have left too if those were the best answers I could come up with for those questions.

Re:There's no excuse for a 15 min Q&A (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38068754)

Warren Buffet also has no problem admitting he's fucking the American people. Good role model you fucking bitch.

Re:There's no excuse for a 15 min Q&A (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068952)

The OP never said Buffet was a saint, just that, compared to Ballmer, he has a lot more consideration for his shareholders. If Buffet is an asshole for fucking the American people as you say, then what does that mean for Ballmer, who can't even be bothered to spend a half hour answering questions?

Re:There's no excuse for a 15 min Q&A (1, Flamebait)

elbonia (2452474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38069054)

Exactly how did he do that moron? By warning people how financial derivates would crash the market? By demaning stock grants be factored into quarter earnings at the time they are granted? Fucking read a book, maybe then you wont have an IQ of a fruit fly.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/24/opinion/who-really-cooks-the-books.html

https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fintools.com%2Fdocs%2FWarren%2520Buffet%2520on%2520Derivatives.pdf

Re:There's no excuse for a 15 min Q&A (1)

TurtleBay (1942166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068870)

Microsoft and most companies limit the length of the call because many financial professionals need to be on dozens of these calls over the course of a month. If all of the meetings were all day affairs a lot of the meetings would lose attendance because the financial professionals need to do other work. Therefore they include the important bits in the 30 min - 1 hour call. Berkshire Hathaway is the exception to this rule, but it tends not to be that widely held by professional investors as they can directly invest in the same companies as Berkshire does.

Unhappy about static share price? (5, Insightful)

qubezz (520511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068602)

That makes Microsoft a blue-chip stock, like GM or IBM. They are not a bubble rally pump and dump stock. The ultimate value of a company is not what a wall street casino game of money chicken assigns to it, and listening to the gamblers is hardly the course that will find improvement.

Re:Unhappy about static share price? (4, Insightful)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068816)

That makes Microsoft a blue-chip stock, like GM or IBM. They are not a bubble rally pump and dump stock. The ultimate value of a company is not what a wall street casino game of money chicken assigns to it, and listening to the gamblers is hardly the course that will find improvement.

A stock is supposed to deliver value to its shareholders by either paying dividends or appreciating in price. If a company doesn't pay a dividend and doesn't appreciate in price (through growth in projected earnings), then they're essentially just dicking around with shareholder money.

Looking back at the past ten years, I would have to say that Microsoft has largely been dicking around with shareholder money. They've expanded into some new markets and failed to break into a number of others. They could have been paying a steady dividend instead. They've started paying a modest dividend now which may mean that they're starting to own up to the fact that they don't have any more huge growth prospects and admit that they might as well pay out some of the cash their earning.

Re:Unhappy about static share price? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38068886)

Looking back at the past ten years I can see that Microsoft has been reliably increasing the dividend payouts to where it is around $0.65/share/year and will increase to $0.80/share/year in 2012. That seems like a reliable revenue generator for people interested in steady growth rather than playing the lottery.

Re:Unhappy about static share price? (2)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068922)

As many other people have mentioned, Microsoft does pay a quarterly dividend, currently annualized at about 3 percent.

Re:Unhappy about static share price? (2)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068934)

Good post.

I mean, other than the part where Microsoft does pay a dividend--that has been increasing--and has done so for years. But other than that...

Perhaps your looks back should involve slightly more on the factual side and slightly less on the "meh, it sounds right to me" side.

Re:Unhappy about static share price? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38069020)

yes, MS is a dividend stock and has been for a long time now. This is the right thing to do since the market is more or less saturated with their product and big earnings growth isn't really possible for them anymore.

Re:Unhappy about static share price? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38069024)

Those companies pay large dividends. You trade a static stock price for guaranteed returns. MSFT pays a very small dividend.

Re:Unhappy about static share price? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38069154)

Please overlay GM and IBM with MSFT and recall in horror at your own ignorance.

Shareholders are stupid (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38068628)

Static share price for the past decade, but:

revenue:
2000: 22.96 billion
2011: 69.94 billion (ms ends their year on 6/30.. so this is 6/30/10 - 6/30/11)

profits:
2000: 9.42 billion
2011: 23.15 billion

Yep.. shareholders are stupid. Not Microsoft's fault they don't want to reward their success.

2000 income announcement [microsoft.com]
2011 income statement [yahoo.com]

You've never invested in anything, have you? (-1, Troll)

jmcbain (1233044) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068888)

Idiot. The point of investing is to get something in return. If the share price is not going up, then the company has to pay out dividends. You don't just buy stock to buy stock. Looks like you've never invested in anything in your entire life.

Re:You've never invested in anything, have you? (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38069200)

No, you're the idiot. You obviously don't understand the point I was making.

Microsoft doesn't control the price their stock trades for in the market. They have been doing their part -- increasing profits -- but the shareholders have decided the stock is worth exactly the same amount. THEREFORE shareholders are stupid.

What do you expect Microsoft to do? Have Ballmer go down to Wall Street and scream Developers! Developers! Developers! ?

MS makes 3x the amount Google does in profits. For 2010, MS made 50% more than Apple. Only this past year has Apple matched Microsofts profits. Yet, Apple and Google get bid up to insane levels based almost solely on emotions.

So if shareholders want to base Microsoft's share price on their emotions, instead of Microsoft's financials, then that's their problem, not Microsoft's.

Re:You've never invested in anything, have you? (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 2 years ago | (#38069240)

Microsoft doesn't control the price their stock trades for in the market. They have been doing their part -- increasing profits -- but the shareholders have decided the stock is worth exactly the same amount. THEREFORE shareholders are stupid.

What do you expect Microsoft to do

Do what other comapies do when they think that their stock is undervalued. Buy up their own stock in the market.

Re:Shareholders are stupid (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#38069120)

How do your numbers compare to the overall size of the economy in the markets they are competing in for the time periods you mention? Without those numbers to compare, your numbers are worthless.

Pretty crappy return (1)

stox (131684) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068662)

3% yield on dividend is relatively poor. But there are worse places to put one's money.

Re:Pretty crappy return (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068890)

3% is 2x what my credit union pays in an IRA, which is itself 3x what most banks pay. Poor, but there's a risk/reward thing to consider.

Dividends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38068684)

Microsoft should pay out much larger dividends. It's clear that the R&D isn't turning out good results. Their last good new product was the XBox. If they paid shareholders instead of spending money on silly things like buying Yahoo, then those shareholders wouldn't complain.

Re:Dividends (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068990)

Their last good new product was the XBox.

That Courier tablet seemed like a very interesting idea, but Bill and Steve shot it down shortly before the iPad came out and became the standard for tablets.

Anyone care to repeat a meme? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068804)

So all this crap about the corporation [required] to serve the interests of the shareholders and all that is simply crap. Shareholders express their dissatisfaction all the time like this only to be ignored by the people who maintain the majority controlling interest... and yet somehow the actions a corporation takes isn't the responsibility of the people who steer the company and often make the very decisions which they are somehow neither responsible nor accountable for.

On the long list of the 99%'s complaints should be a reform of what corporate leaders can be held liable for.

Re:Anyone care to repeat a meme? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38069008)

I don't think this is quite true: with MS, these dissatisfied shareholders do not (IIRC) maintain a majority controlling interest: Bill and Steve do. That's why they're still in charge after all these years of piss-poor performance and zero vision. In more normal corporations, yes, the shareholders do have a controlling interest, and they can and do oust the executives when they're dissatisfied: just look at HP for example. Of course, these shareholders don't always do the greatest job of selecting executives, again as seen with HP.

Re:Anyone care to repeat a meme? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38069148)

I'd love to have my piss poor performance be 23 billion dollars in profit this year. not to mention steady profitability. share price is for the gamblers on wall street.

Re:Anyone care to repeat a meme? (1)

Forbman (794277) | more than 2 years ago | (#38069030)

Well, considering that BillG and Monkeyboy are major shareholders of MSFT stock... if they're happy, their votes count for a bunch at voting time...

Re:Anyone care to repeat a meme? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38069086)

http://movetoamend.org you can't put a company in jail, and money is not speech.

On January 21, 2010, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government. Human beings are people; corporations are legal fictions.
We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to:
* Firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.
* Guarantee the right to vote and to participate, and to have our vote and participation count.
* Protect local communities, their economies, and democracies against illegitimate "preemption" actions by global, national, and state governments.
The Supreme Court is misguided in principle, and wrong on the law. In a democracy, the people rule. We Move to Amend.

You'd think... (1)

strangeattraction (1058568) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068808)

You'd think that after the first 5 years of static share price they would no longer be shareholders. Only the dumb money is left.

Re:You'd think... (3)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068994)

Only the dumb money is left.

Or the safe money. Not every investment needs to be a double-or-nothing crap shoot. I'm sure a lot of people who invest in MSFT also invest in AAPL or GOOG, but for different reasons. I'm sure there are even lots of people who use a Mac daily but still have money in MSFT; it's really all between them and their financial advisers, and has little to do with Windows vs. Mac OS X.

Innovation lacking, or .... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38068852)

So, lets see. A static share price over the past decade...

In that decade they've done the following major things: (IMO) ... and a few minor but interesting things...

- Released Windows XP
- Released XBOX and XBOX Live Network
- Released Window Vista
- Released XBOX 360
- Reached Novell Agreement
- Let Bungie split away
- Showed off Microsoft Surface
- Redefine Microsoft Search with 'bing'
- Released Windows 7
- Released XBOX Kinect

- Released continuously updated versions of Office and Server and misc. software packages, including improving* IE. (Will versions ever end? Bring on rolling release! Or is that what already exists...)

So in point, what has Microsoft done? Kept the industry moving along, business as usual, that's what. Have they come up with game-changing innovation? Obviously not. Have they sunk the ship? No. They're keeping in the game. They're big enough, and have enough clout, that they don't have to redefine themselves every few years.

And, just so you know, I say this as someone who hasn't given MS a dime in over 11 years.

p.s. I'm probably missing some 'biggie events' by some peoples standards. The above are just off the top of my head.

Oh, FFS... (0)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068924)

As much as I'm not terribly impressed with many of Microsoft's products, their sense of taste, or anything resembling a semblance of strategy; the whining of 'zOMG why aren't the numbers getting bigger???!!?!?!' investors annoys me far more.

C'mon, fucktards, Microsoft has been dead flat(but dividend bearing) for years now. Quit. Fucking. Whining.

If you want to go bubble chasing, sell the boring stuff and invest the proceeds in something wildly volatile. You've got plenty of choices. If you just want your pet stock to go up and up and up, go see if the magic pony you will shortly be receiving for Christmas can take you back a decade or so so you can make smarter buying choices; but, FFS, don't just sit there, holding on to a stock with predictable behavior, and demanding that it make you rich immediately.

If I didn't know otherwise, I'd be inclined to believe that the world's major monotheisms (used to) condemn usury just because people like them were so damn annoying...

Microsoft (5, Insightful)

br00tus (528477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38068976)

In my mind, the last real Microsoft innovations that happened were in the year period between late 1995 and early 1996. That is when Windows 95 came out and Windows NT 4.0. Windows 95 had a lot of things going for it - it had Internet capability included, so people didn't have to go through a rigmarole with Hyperterminal to download Trumpet Winsock from somewhere via X-modem. It had a nice, Mac-like GUI. It was nice - they even had Mac-like touches, like hiring Brian Eno to do the sound for when the computer started, a launch campaign with a Rolling Stones sound etc. Insofar as NT 4.0 - it was the first Windows server which wasn't total garbage. I had to administer a NT 3.51 server for a while, to my chagrin. 4.0 wasn't great, but it wasn't complete garbage like previous efforts. NT 4.0 also introduced the Terminal Services Client, later called Remote Desktop.

SQL Server began coming out before any of this. I don't really like Exchange Server or Outlook, but they came out in 1996 and 1997 respectively. What has Microsoft really come out with since then? They completely missed the boat on smartphones and tablets - they are less than 1% market share for both markets. I just finished reading Job's biography - he mentions that Microsoft had been working on tablets forever. He blames their focus on the stylus, and compatibility with the existing Microsoft monopoly, I mean framework, as the drawbacks to it. Microsoft just seems to be unable to anything new. They started by porting an existing product, BASIC. Then they ripped of CP/M - some say [wikipedia.org] in a straight pirate-like fashion. Then they rip off Apple's Mac interface (which Apple themselves ripped off from Xerox). Microsoft is great at copying others ideas and doing all the back end, support, marketing, licensing business stuff, they are not so great at inventing stuff. A then much smaller company like Apple was able to eat their lunch in the tablet and smartphone space. Google bought Android, and helped it grow to where it now owns smartphones, and is doing respectably on tablets, at least more respectably than Microsoft.

Microsoft has just been resting on its monopoly and sitting on its laurels. They put out garbage that technicians hate to use, but are sometimes forced to. With Windows 95, I used to get a CD where I could reinstall Windows if I wanted. Then they started that horrible OEM recover CD, where you couldn't just fresh install Windows like you wanted to - like you can with a CD of Linux or FreeBSD or whatnot. I mean, they took a step backwards, to protect themselves from piracy - a concern people making Debian CD's have no concern about. Other people are out innovating, they are at work crippling your ability to do things you were able to do with previous installations of Windows.

Re:Microsoft (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38069268)

What about Xbox? And the Kinect? Not only are they branching out and innovating in the console market, these moves also nicely supplements their leading position regarding PC gaming.

Microsoft is involved in many areas today, and I think you have to look at each area in order to judge them correctly.

Lost decade and a HALF (1)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 2 years ago | (#38069048)

Putting stock price aside and looking at technology alone, Microsoft has been stagnant for 15 years. NT4 with Office 95 and a quick install of the latest Firefox would give users 90% of the functionality they use today. Fast forward to Office 97 to get 96% functionality (file format compatible with Office 2010). Add a commercial third-party NT4 USB driver and get 99% functionality that is commonly used today.

In 2002, Microsoft came up with a Java/Flash/RIA/HTML5 killer, .NET, and then decided to not make .NET RIAs mainstream until five years later with Silverlight, when it was too late. This was, in my opinion and guess, a stock market driven decision to avoid killing Windows and Office. Microsoft employed the short-term thinking that results from our stock market system that rewards and demands next quarter's profits and short-term planning.

In the early 1990's, Lotus Notes was taking the world by storm until the web came along. Lotus Notes was a database system that allowed end "power" users to develop GUI database apps that they could immediately share with their coworkers. The web came along and IBM fumbled Notes. Microsoft had a popular web page designer, FrontPage. If they had integrated database capability into it, FrontPage would have ruled the world. Alternatively, Microsoft could have added web capability to Access, or just made it capable of handling more than 1000 records. Access was/is another phenomenal end-user database tool. It's nothing less than an intentional retarding of progress that Microsoft never made it work as an actual database. Undoubtedly, this was again stock-market driven to avoid cannibalizing SQL Server sales. Imagine the productivity the world economy could have experienced over the past decade if SQL Server Lite backend and Access front end were installed on every machine by default (e.g. SQL Server Lite installed with Windows, Access installed with the most basic version of Office). Now further imagine if Microsoft had deeply integrated FrontPage into that bundle!

It's too late now. Drupal et al are, finally after 15 years, the Lotus Notes replacement. Microsoft missed the boat. Goodbye, Microsoft.

Let a ho be a ho (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38069096)

Do you know that Muslim faggots eat the shit out of other men's assholes? They eat shit! Muslims are faggots.
 
Fuck Mohammad! Fuck Allah! Fuck Islam!!!!!
 
I shit on the unholy faggot Koran.

Dividends... (1)

sdguero (1112795) | more than 2 years ago | (#38069128)

Umm, the current forward dividend rate is $0.80 per share. So if you hold $100k of of MS stock, you stand to make $3076 this year, or around 3% for doing nothing but owning a small piece of the company. That's not bad considering this economy. And if you don't like it... Sell! Sell! Sell!

Being the World's Evil Empire has come back. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38069192)

Even the small collection of CSci that actually likes Microsoft has huge misgivings about the way the company operates. Compare against the two listed rivals, Apple, who's goal is just to make the best electronics in the world, and Google's is simply to Do No Evil. Maybe making crappy operating systems, and then when no ones buys it, trying to villainishly force their hand wasn't the best choice? Or trying to rip off Apple without adding anything of real value, or being so evil that people don't care if Google collaborates with China, or holding back technical progress in the name of short-term wins, or producing Operating Systerms that give more power to billionaire executives then it does to the people who actually BOUGHT THE PRODUCT, or try to sue rivals out of existence with massively spurious claims,

or, from a privately-owned company perspective, holding back dividends from stock holders, (who collectively OWN THE COMPANY), because you like having a money vault to dive into.

M$ should apologize (2)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 2 years ago | (#38069210)

After all, those poor shareholders expected INFINITE GROWTH and the company failed to deliver. They should apologize.

Seriously though, just like the first poster said they already have the answer: sell your stock. But the greedy fucks keep on looking for more. They should get what they deserve when people finally start to realize (probably right after 8 launches) that they shouldn't have to constantly pay for an OS upgrade and Microsoft's software division finally tanks like they already should have.

So much Softie Butthurt(TM) (4, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38069290)

Yield is 3 percent, being generous, and this is nothing when considering the growth of other companies in the same sector - I get modded down for pointing this out.

Stock price is down and flat, especially considering other companies in the same sector. - I get modded down for pointing this out.

There is no sign of this changing any time soon. Windows 8 is the biggest news, and it makes everyone who is not a fanboy yawn, at best - I get modded down for pointing this out.

Yet none of the above is false. So much butthur at the truth. Don't blame me, guys, look at your god, Ballmer, the guy who is only there because of the amount of voting stock he owns. Welcome to the same doldrums that befell Apple in the 90s. Unless something serious happens, the best you can hope for is that the wind does not go completely out of the sails leaving Microsoft adrift in a Sargasso of status-quo or sinking from shipworm.

Break up Microsoft. It needs it. The profit sucking divisions need to sink or swim on their own. The company also needs to make things that people actually want, rather than view Microsoft products as "necessary evils." Apple has been doing it the right way. Microsoft, not so much.

--
BMO

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