11.30.08

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Microsoft’s Forecast Suffers Fresh Blow, Online Problems Linger on

Posted in Finance, Google, Microsoft at 7:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“There is such an overvaluation of technology stocks that it is absurd. I would include our stock in that category. It is bad for the long-term worth of the economy.”

Steve Ballmer

Microsoft’s stock does not perform too well [1, 2], despite the massive buybacks. In addition to all that, RBC has just dealt another blow to Microsoft.

Analyst cuts estimates, price target on Microsoft

An RBC Capital Markets analyst lowered his estimates and price target for Microsoft Corp. Tuesday, citing “uncertain” end-of-the-year consumer and enterprise spending and a lack of upcoming stock catalysts.

In a client note, Robert Breza cut his fiscal 2009 earnings-per-share estimate for the world’s largest software company to $2.01 from $2.04 and his revenue estimate to $64.6 billion from $65.3 billion. The analyst also decreased his fiscal 2010 estimates.

This is also covered by Associated Press, haters of fair use doctrine. The outlook ahead does not look all that bright, either.

Holiday sales look uncertain for Microsoft and PC sellers

[...]

The only real question is how bad it will get.

Microsoft is still trying to evolve and it plays "hard to get" with Yahoo! (a reversal of roles) despite or because of the shortage of funds. According to this Microsoft shareholder, Microsoft’s chances of staying heavyweight after a migration to the Web are fairly slim.

The majority of Microsoft’s revenue and profits still comes from Windows and Office. There is no way the company can afford to encourage users to emigrate from Office to a cheaper, Web-based alternative. Sure, Microsoft will roll out a new version of Windows Live that includes Web-based apps, but you can bet they’ll be very lightweight. Google, on the other hand, has core business built on the Web that will only be enhanced by its efforts in cloud computing.

One Microsoft-friendly magazine that we have come to know and disrespect is attempting to maintain optimism while admitting that Microsoft is unable to make profit on the Web.

As for Microsoft, which has been at this online thing for a decade, give or take, losses continue to mount. The division in question is Microsoft’s Online Services Business, which includes the online portal MSN, the aQuantive ad agency Microsoft bought last year for $6 billion, and Live Search.

The leader and big gainer continues to be Google, which also appears to be inheriting lost clients that Microsoft ‘acquired’ along with Hotmail.

United States Internet users conducted 2 percent fewer searches in October 2008 than the year earlier, but used Google more often for those searches, according to data Nielsen Online released Tuesday.

If Microsoft anticipates a bright future on the so-called ‘cloud’, then it’s nowhere near progress. It’s a known fact that those who are not able to move forward are gradually falling behind. They sometimes don’t even realise it. Sometimes they enter a stage of denial or they try to swallow the ocean of change.

Dinosaur

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