Summary: Curious new moves are made by Microsoft to elevate its stagnant stock
THERE was an interesting discussion in IRC last night and it related to Microsoft’s debt situation/problem. According to reports stemming from Microsoft's friend Dina Bass, Microsoft will sell debt (not just take debt) to lift its stock:
Microsoft Corp.’s MSFT-Q shares bounced on Monday afternoon, following a Bloomberg News report that the technology company is considering selling debt to fund dividends and share buybacks.
Another source says that Microsoft “intends to borrow this year ‘as much as possible’ to pay dividends and share repurchases, the company having a lot of cash locked outside the United States, told Bloomberg a source close to the situation, says Telegraph Business.”
Moving money around (as appears to be the case here) won’t be a solution to Microsoft’s problem. Microsoft is worth well less than Apple right now and analysts have been downgrading it lately, which helped not at all (some name Apple as the reason for pessimism about Microsoft). █
“Microsoft, the world’s most valuable company, declared a profit of $4.5 billion in 1998; when the cost of options awarded that year, plus the change in the value of outstanding options, is deducted, the firm made a loss of $18 billion, according to Smithers.”
–The Economist, 1999