Beleaguered Microsoft shares hit by biggest sell-off in 13 years; $36 billion chopped off company value

“Microsoft Corp shares fell more than 12 percent on Friday, their biggest plunge in 13 years, a day after the software company posted dismal quarterly results due to weak demand for its latest Windows system and poor sales of its Surface tablet,” Reuters reports.

“Friday’s loss means about $36 billion has been wiped off Microsoft’s market value in one day, exceeding the size of rival Yahoo Inc.,” Reuters reports. “Microsoft’s earnings were wrecked by a $900 million write down on the value of unsold Surface tablets after it cut prices in a bid to excite buyers.”

Reuters reports, “The poor results shocked Wall Street, which had believed the company’s strength with business customers would help it ride out a downturn in consumer PC sales. The results provoked fresh skepticism of Chief Executive Steve Ballmer’s new plan to reshape the company around devices and services, unveiled last week. ‘The recent reorganization does not fix the tablet or smartphone problem,’ said Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund in a note to clients on Friday. ‘The devices opportunity just received a $900 million hardware write-off for Surface RT and investors may not even like the idea of wading deeper into this territory.’ … Microsoft launched Surface tablets last year to challenge Apple Inc’s iPad, but their sales have failed to meet expectations.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Ah, this is perfect for a Friday evening and since it’s well after 5 o’clock:

May Steve Ballmer remain Microsoft CEO for as long as it takes!™ Hoist!

Happy weekend, everyone!

Related articles:
Weak Windows PC market catches up to Microsoft – July 19, 2013
Microsoft earnings, sales badly miss expectations; $900 million inventory writedown on Surface tablet flop – July 18, 2013
Gartner: Apple to overtake Microsoft in total OS sales in 2015 – June 25, 2013
Apple Macintosh owns 45% of PC market profits – April 16, 2013
Steve Jobs’ revenge – April 12, 2013
Apple Macintosh on the rise as Windows PC market plummets – April 11, 2013
Gartner: PC Market posts 11.2 percent decline in Q113; Apple Mac sales up 7.4 percent in U.S. – April 10, 2013
IDC: PC shipments post the steepest decline ever in a single quarter, down 13.9% in Q113 – April 10, 2013

79 Comments

    1. “May Steve Ballmer remain Microsoft CEO for as long as it takes!™”

      It doesn’t matter anymore. From today it will take 4 years UNDER NEW LEADERSHIP for Microsoft to develop anything meaningful in the mobile space. Don’t bother, by then you will still be 4 years behind.

      The only hope for Microsoft is to fall back on its Windows/Office franchise and ditch all other efforts. Recognize that your most loyal customers are in the Enterprise (if you focus on making a better product, not just the only product). Two-thirds of the Company could be let go, cutting costs dramatically.

      Forget the Windows/Office tie in. Port Office for any OS with the numbers that make doing so a good business decision. SUPPORT ALL OF THEM EQUALLY.

      Trim the fat (bloat) out of both Windows and Office. Expunge every bit of DOS compatibility code. Then become the best Enterprise OS solution possible, not just the dominant OS. Support and integrate with competing OSs.

      Microsoft may become ‘smaller’ firm doing this, but it will have a much better Enterprise product (30% of total computer market), and be much more profitable.

      Nothing outside of desktop/server Windows and Office has made a profit since Microsoft first announced WinCE. The Board has to recognize that current leadership (including the Board Chairman) haven’t a clue how to address a rapidly evolving OS industry.

      1. Mr. Thurman, you have a far better vision and grasp of how to achieve it than Mr. Ballmer. Please send your resume and references to Microsoft right away.

      2. Not true. Microsoft still has and will have for many, many, many years vast resources it can call upon. If Microsoft cleans house and brings in a truly visionary CEO who builds a strong product team, Microsoft could come up with the Next Big Thing. Microsoft’s boad has shown remarkable patience, and likely would give a new CEO plenty of time to get his plans implemented. Everything is there but the imagination.

        1. Politically correct description:
          “remarkable patience”
          Brutally accurate description:
          “incredible stupidity”

          All Apple fans are thankful for, and enjoy observing their “remarkable patience.”

  1. Yeah, didn’t think they could keep fudging the books forever. Bought the July 26 34 strike Puts for .16 closed out at 2.50. I’ll take another look Monday, could see 28 by Aug.

    1. I hate a lot of Canadian friends and they are absolutely great. But those twin RIM CEO’s were hosers! Amazing how just a single guy or a few guys can ruin it for a whole company and world. Are you listening sales guy Steven Anthony Ballmer?

    1. Yes, wouldn’t that suck to see Microsoft diminish only to have Google take it’s place – D’Oh! But I think both have peaked. Certainly Microsoft has unless they take Ballmer by the scruff of the neck and unceremoniously throw him out and his chairs on top of him. But God forbid I make such a suggestion when we are soooo close…

  2. “The poor results shocked Wall Street…”

    More proof, as if we needed it, that Wall Street is screwed and inhabited by blinkered fools. Mr. Bill had one lucky decision at the beginning. No further business decisions were necessary. Their massive near-monopoly simply gave them the power to take over or crush nearly all opposition for many years — until in all started unravelling with Vistcrap. Considering Uncle Fester has never made a good business decision in his life, it is the height of foolishness to think he’d start now.

    1. With those results, I expect Balmer to increase the roll out of empty Microsoft stores. With 1000 stores they should be able to sell at least a 1000 tabless a week, if they haven’t been bulldozed yet. I’ll even buy one if they drop the PX to $99. need one for my wife to watch Korean soaps and skype.

      1. I’ve used Skype on my mac, worked great. Perhaps you forget it was a functioning and popular product before MS bought it. It’s an MS product only in the fact hat they have not managed to ruin it like they did with the sidekick.

    2. To continue that quote:

      “… which had believed the company’s strength with business customers would help it ride out a downturn in consumer PC sales.”

      Here we go again, with another journalist talking about this “downturn in consumer PC sales” like it was something to blame (an excuse) for Microsoft’s poor results. In reality, Microsoft is responsible for the downturn; this downtown is NOT some kind of independent industry trend that Microsoft must “ride out.” They must think, “Microsoft would have been fine, if it wasn’t for this unfortunate downturn in PC sales.”

      Well, Microsoft can’t simply “ride out” this problem, because Microsoft is the current root cause of poor PC sales. Even if tablets are taking a bite out of PC sales, there are enough traditional PC users who want a “normal” PC. PC sales should be reasonably healthy. But those customers do NOT want a new PC running Windows 8; so they delay the purchase… And some of them get a Mac. That’s why Mac sales are still healthy.

      1. We shall see Tuesday how healthy Mac sales are. I think the results will surprise many as Apple has many times before. People are spending money they are just shopping smarter now. After so many years of buying crap PC’s now realize Macs cost less in the long run.

  3. I have a feeling that this was part of Balmer’s plan.  Microsoft will make a huge comeback in the last half of the year. If not this year, then either next year or in 2015 … when the PC industry returns to dominance.  It’s just a matter of time.

    1. Actually, it’s part of Bill Gates’s plan. He wants to swoop in (and “pull a Steve Jobs”), to save the company HE founded, once things become REALLY desperate.

      But unlike Steve Jobs, he can’t escape blame for the downfall. He’s still Chairman of Microsoft’s Board of Directors, that let Steve Ballmer be CEO for so long.

          1. @ivid
            I’m not so sure about that. If my various clients are any indication, most regard it as a clunky, ugly tool that they have to use, because they get it on the bargain-basement computers that they buy and/or because it’s so widely used.

      1. It. Would work if Gates had actually innovated on the same level as Steve/Apple. I wonder if a website like folklore dot org will ever exist that would document the real development of Wndows.

  4. This is no time to party it’s time to panic. M$’s poor sales is just more proof the experts are right and Apple is dooooommmed!!!!

    Seriously, schadenfreude could become addictive.

  5. After WinPhoneHome failure, the Early Internal Numbers @ MS; the Titanic Shuffleboard reorg; the Surface belly flop, & the High Dive, the Board of Directors is finally going to have to act in the interest of the shareholders.

    To do otherwise is to tempt a shareholder revolt.

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