How is MSFT doing?

I cannot take credit for this idea but those that did I do not think want to be called out as they are shareholders in MSFT…
Today MSFT closed at $23.44.  If you think that one of the jobs of a President or CEO is to protect shareholder value just how well is Steve Ballmer doing?  The bio on Microsoft’s site says Ballmer became President in July of 1998.  If you would have put $10000 in MSFT on 7/1/98 it would be worth $9992 so you would only be down $8.  The highest value would have had over this time period would have been $21900 in late 1999.  The low would have been $8890 in late 2000.  The bio says he became CEO in January 2000.  Putting $10000 on 1/3/00 by March of that year you would have made $22 but today your value would be $4808 for a loss of $5192!   In late 2000 the value would have been $3882 so I guess being down 52% is not all that bad.    I guess shareholder should be looking long term but just how long should one have to look?
The other part of the discussion was is MSFT the worst stock in the DOW?  Here are the rankings again investing $10000 ~when Steve Ballmer was named CEO. MSFT is the second worst.  Interestingly enough only about one third of the companies that make up the DOW are in the black for this time period.
Altria Group Inc. MO  $        43,215
Caterpillar Inc. CAT  $        34,853
Boeing Co. BA  $        21,646
3M Co. MMM  $        19,174
Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM  $        17,227
Citigroup Inc. C  $        15,484
Johnson & Johnson JNJ  $        13,384
American Express Co. AXP  $        12,759
JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM  $        11,991
Procter & Gamble Co. PG  $        10,970
United Technologies Corp. UTX  $        10,927
Walt Disney Co. DIS  $          9,515
McDonald’s Corp. MCD  $          9,416
Alcoa Inc. AA  $          9,204
American International Group Inc. AIG  $          9,151
Honeywell International Inc. HON  $          8,587
Hewlett-Packard Co. HPQ  $          8,583
Pfizer Inc. PFE  $          8,178
General Electric Co. GE  $          7,866
Coca-Cola Co. KO  $          7,779
AT&T Inc. T  $          7,649
International Business Machines Corp. IBM  $          7,587
E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. DD  $          7,533
Verizon Communications Inc. VZ  $          7,194
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT  $          7,078
Home Depot Inc. HD  $          6,626
Merck & Co. Inc. MRK  $          5,859
Intel Corp. INTC  $          5,049
Microsoft Corp. MSFT  $          4,954
General Motors Corp. GM  $          4,059

About Aaron Bregel

Just trying to get by
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1 Response to How is MSFT doing?

  1. Adam says:

    Interesting.  So what\’s the sentiment around Microsoft?  Do people think Ballmer is doing a good job or do they look at stock charts like these — the stock is flat over the last 4 years+ — and think a change in leadership is needed?In Ballmer\’s defense, this is a classic case of measuring correlation not causation or perhaps reversing cause and effect.  Microsoft (and tech in general) went through a tremendous period of growth in the 90s.  Eventually Microsoft hit a point where it was so big it couldn\’t easily keep growing by doing the same things — it\’s a lot easier to increase market share 10% when you have 50% share than when you have 90% share.  IIRC, Gates saw this coming and over a period of a couple years stepped back from the day-to-day running of the company and focused more on thinking and strategic planning and vision.In Ballmer\’s time as CEO, MSFT is indeed down 52% but NASDAQ is down 40% and MSFT had matched or outpaced NASDAQ until 2006.  S&P is only down 5% over the period so perhaps this is a failing of all tech companies but they just didn\’t mess up as badly.From an investment standpoint, Microsoft is a fascinating stock.  When I moved here in 1992, it was a must have stock in any portfolio as a growth stock. I can\’t recall exactly, but somewhere in 2001-2001 this stopped being the case; the stock had grown so much it didn\’t seem able to grow any more. After being 103% in MSFT for many years I cashed out and was effectively at 0% for 4 years.  Now it seems to be a good value play at <$25 (today is a good day to buy).Following the market drop in 2000, for a while I used to joke that MSFT was flat over 3 years, then 4 years.  Now that it\’s 8 years, it\’s really not funny anymore.

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