After 33 years at Microsoft (MSFT), the last 13 spent as CEO, Steve Ballmer is surely due the quintessential gold watch for his dedicated service to the company. And yet, in announcing his plan to step down in the next twelve months, the 57 year old outgoing executive is more likely to receive a ration of ridicule for leading the world's largest software company essentially nowhere during his tenure, having inherited a $50 stock in January 2000 that is trading at $35 today.
"I don't think it is going to have any effect on the stock at all," says Joe Fahmy, managing director of Zor Capital in the attached video.
In fact, Fahmy lumps Microsoft in with several other big 90's has-beens of the personal computer boom, including Dell (DELL), Intel (INTC), and Cisco (CSCO), and says no change of chiefs is going to be able to come in and replicate the great growth days of yore for the software-turned-service and device maker from Redmond, Washington. "What's the real upside from here, as far as the growth?" Fahmy asks, before describing the company as a ''great business" that pays a dividend and will probably be an in-line performer with the market at best.
Fahmy is not alone is his blasé attitude about this $270 billion business. FactSet data shows just 26% of analysts who follow Microsoft currently rate it a "Buy," which is the lowest level in at least twenty years.
It is also worth noting that while the Ballmer era may not have delivered much in the way of shareholder value, his overall career at the company, which he joined when he was just 24, has earned him a princely sum. The latest Forbes 400 list placed him at number 51, with an estimated net worth of $15.2 billion.
As much as traders applauded the news with a huge rally in the stock, Fahmy is not amongst them and advises people to stay away from what he sees as little more than some splashy news on a slow summer day.