“Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer says he plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to fix the company’s unprofitable Internet business. His investors say they want proof he knows what to do with the money,” Amy Thomson reports for Bloomberg.
MacDailyNews Take: Uh, oh. Are they finally waking up? Here’s hoping that this is not the beginning of the end for Ballmer. In fact, everyone raise your glass: May Steve Ballmer run Microsoft for as long as it takes!
Thomson continues, “After walking away from six months of on-again, off-again talks about buying all or part of Yahoo! Inc., owner of the No. 2 Web search engine, Ballmer has left shareholders wondering if he has a plan B.”
“Microsoft, the biggest software maker, has lost about $90 billion in market value this year as Ballmer vacillated on Yahoo and failed to show how he would crack Google Inc.’s dominance of Internet advertising,” Thompson reports. “Shareholders will look for ideas at a meeting with Ballmer tomorrow, said Kim Caughey, a Fort Pitt Capital Group Inc. analyst in Pittsburgh. ‘I’m a little concerned; I’ll be honest,’ said Caughey, whose firm manages $1.2 billion and owns Microsoft shares. Ballmer needs to ‘put a hot, bright light of clarity on where’s all the money going.'”
MacDailyNews Take: Introductions seem to be in order here: Kim, Drain. Drain, Kim.
Thompson continues, “Ballmer, along with Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell and the presidents of Microsoft’s three businesses, will address analysts and investors tomorrow at company headquarters in Redmond, Washington.”
MacDailyNews Take: Oooh, goody. Big Ass Table Demo.
Thompson continues, “The company has spent about $9 billion in the past 2 1/2 years building its Internet business, according to Directions on Microsoft, a research firm in Kirkland, Washington.”
MacDailyNews Take: Uh, what Internet business? There is nothing remotely resembling what should exist to the tune of $9 billion dollars and 2 1/2 years. Building and operating a cash furnace, now that would make sense; not an “Internet business.”
Thompson continues, “The online division is Microsoft’s smallest with $3.21 billion in sales last year, or 5 percent of the total of $60.4 billion. The business lost $1.23 billion last year, double the previous year’s loss, as it hired more people, built computer data centers, and made acquisitions including $6 billion spent on Seattle-based ad company AQuantive Inc.”
“The bid for Yahoo shows Ballmer is aware that Microsoft has been lacking in ideas for the Internet age, said Andy Miedler, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co. in St. Louis,” Thompson reports.
MacDailyNews Take: Well, you’re sure as hell ain’t gonna find ’em at Yahoo!
More in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Streetool” for the heads up.]
We hereby advise Microsoft shareholders that there is nothing to see here. Everything’s fine. Relax. Ballmer has a plan. Please, just let him execute it.
(Hey, if they bought shares in Microsoft sometime in the last 6 or so years, they’ll certainly buy that advice.)