|Bid||0.00 x 1300|
|Ask||0.00 x 1000|
|Day's Range||136.53 - 138.67|
|52 Week Range||93.96 - 141.68|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.97|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||27.38|
|Earnings Date||Oct 22, 2019 - Oct 28, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||1.84 (1.33%)|
|1y Target Est||154.71|
Dow futures: The stock market rally held up after a Fed rate cut and Fed chief Jerome Powell's comments. Apple is a buy again. Microsoft rose late on a buyback. Will AT&T; sell DirecTV?
Big Tech is facing the prospect of broad sectoral regulation that goes well beyond the narrow antitrust focus that has defined government interest in the industry in recent decades, according to Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and top lawyer. Speaking in an interview this week, Mr Smith, who joined Microsoft in 1993, predicted a return to a period when government set broad rules governing how particular industry sectors operate, rather than focusing on individual cases of economic harm caused by monopolists. The shift reflects the wide range of concerns stirred up by today’s leading consumer tech companies, including privacy and the mass collection of data.
Should investors consider buying Micron (MU) stock with the chipmaker set to report its quarterly financial results on Thursday, September 26?
The Redmond tech giant will take over all 8,200 square feet on the fourth floor and could house about 400 employees in the space.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average Index rose 36.28 points for a 0.13% increase today. The S&P; 500 Index gained 0.07% while tech ETFs mirrored that increase.
(Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp., the world’s largest software maker, said it will repurchase as much as $40 billion of shares in a new buyback program and boosted its quarterly dividend by 5 cents to 51 cents a share.The repurchase authorization has no expiration date, and may be terminated at any time, Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft said Wednesday in a statement. The company’s stock has risen 36% so far this year and its market capitalization remains at more than $1 trillion. Its previous buyback plan, unveiled in September 2016, was also for $40 billion.Flush with cash and an infrequent acquirer of large technology companies, Microsoft has been a massive buyer of its own shares since the early 2000s and generally has an active $40 billion buyback plan that gets replaced once expended. The company also introduced a dividend in 2003 and has boosted it steadily since then. The company had $133.8 billion in cash and short-term investments as of June 30.Under Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella, Microsoft has seen its shares skyrocket and revenue growth return. The company is increasing cloud contracts for products like Office 365 and Azure, while its older and more profitable Windows business has found stability with customers moving to newer versions ahead of the expiration of older ones.(Updates with company cash holdings in the third paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Dina Bass in Seattle at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Microsoft Corp said on Wednesday its board had approved a new share repurchase program of up to $40 billion and raised its quarterly dividend. Microsoft, which said it would hold its annual shareholders meeting on Dec. 4, also declared a quarterly dividend of 51 cents per share, 11% higher than the preceding quarter. The repurchase program, which has no expiration date, may be terminated at any time.
Microsoft Corp. shares rose in the extended session Wednesday after the tech giant's board approved a dividend hike and billions in new share repurchases. Microsoft shares rose 1.1% after hours, following a 0.8% gain to close the regular session at $138.52. The company said its board increased the quarterly dividend by 11% to 51 cents a share, which is payable to shareholders as of Nov. 21 on Dec. 12. Microsoft also said its board approved up to $40 billion in share buyback authority, which has no timeline or expiration date. Additionally, the company scheduled its annual shareholder meeting for Dec. 4.
We searched, using our Zacks Stock Screener, for large-cap dividend stocks investors might want to buy after the U.S. Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the second time...
Microsoft, which said it would hold its annual shareholders meeting on Dec. 4, also declared a quarterly dividend of 51 cents per share, 11% higher than the preceding quarter. The repurchase programme, which has no expiration date, may be terminated at any time.
REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday announced that its board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.51 per share, reflecting a 5 cent or 11% increase over the previous quarter's dividend. The dividend is payable Dec. 12, 2019, to shareholders of record on Nov. 21, 2019. The board of directors also approved a new share repurchase program authorizing up to $40 billion in share repurchases.
Enterprise software has been one of the most notable bright spots in the tech world. Just look at some of the recent IPOs which have soared in value from companies like Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ:ZM) and Elastic (NYSE:ESTC) But even mature firms, like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE), have rejuvenated their businesses.Source: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com And then there is IBM (NYSE:IBM). The company whiffed on the cloud. It also whiffed on mobile. And even in AI (artificial intelligence) - in which IBM has invested for a long time - the results have been mixed.The irony is that IBM should have been a huge beneficiary of these trends. It has a trusted brand, a global footprint (it has 60 datacenters across the world) and a massive customer base. But unfortunately, the company did not adapt quickly enough.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 7 CBD Stocks to Buy That Are Still Worth Your Investment Dollars The Good News for IBM StockDespite all its problems, IBM is still healthy from a financial standpoint, as it continues to generate substantial cash flows. The company also has incredibly talented employees.More importantly for IBM stock, the company has made critical moves to restructure its operations. Specifically, it has eliminated jobs and unloaded non-core assets, while also retooling its software to keep up with the competition.But I think the most consequential point is that the company has been willing to make big bets, as shown by its $34 billion mega-acquisition of Red Hat.True, there is a good deal of irony in this deal. When Linux and other open-source software platforms emerged in the 1990s, IBM's reaction was to fight back - and hard.But it was a losing battle. Open-source software has become a critical part of companies' arsenals. So with the Red Hat deal, IBM has become the leader of the space.There are clear benefits to open-source software. Specifically, adoption of it can be rapid because the technology is free and it's continuously being updated by developers.Red Hat has been able to leverage its technology to create an extensive platform that enables a hybrid cloud environment. Because of security, privacy and regulatory concerns, larger companies need to combine different, i.e. hybrid, options when it comes to the cloud. For example, they can utilize a mix of private and public clouds. Among the companies that provide public cloud infrastructure are Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG) and MSFT. As a result of this need for flexibility, the flexibility of the open-source model, for the most part, has proven to be spot-on.As part of IBM, Red Hat will benefit from the tech giant's tremendous distribution capabilities. What's more, the cloud opportunity is still massive. IBM believes that the typical enterprise has only transitioned 20% of its data to the cloud.Here's what the Senior Vice President and Chief Analyst of research firm IDC , Frank Gens, said about the acquisition of Red Hat: "As organizations seek to increase their pace of innovation to stay competitive, they are looking to open source and a distributed cloud environment to enable a new wave of digital innovation that wasn't possible before. Over the next five years, IDC expects enterprises to invest heavily in their journeys to the cloud, and innovation on it. A large and increasing portion of this investment will be on open hybrid and multicloud environments that enable them to move apps, data and workloads across different environments."In other words, the deal has the potential to generate growth for IBM and should help make Big Blue a major player in cloud computing. That should definitely be positive for IBM stock. The Bottom Line On International Business Machines StockI can understand why there is lots of skepticism regarding the bull case on IBM stock. Consider that, over the past five years, IBM stock price has fallen 2%.But I think the Red Hat deal will be a game changer that will get IBM stock back on track. In fact, investors are already more upbeat on the shares, as IBM stock price has jumped 25% this year.There will likely be bumps in the road for IBM stock, as acquisitions are never easy. But with the dividend yield at 4.56% - one of the highest in the tech world - and the forward price-earnings ratio standing at only 10.5, IBM does look interesting.Tom Taulli is the author of the book, Artificial Intelligence Basics: A Non-Technical Introduction. Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 CBD Stocks to Buy That Are Still Worth Your Investment Dollars * 5 Stocks to Buy With Great Charts * 5 Goldman Sachs Stocks to Buy with Over 20% Upside Potential The post IBM Stock: It's All About Red Hat appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Editor's Note: This article was updated to correct some information about Xilinx.For several years, the basic narrative behind the semiconductor space went something like this: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) provided the premium-end processors, and Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) was the poor man's Intel. Look at the charts, though, and you'll see that this narrative has changed. AMD has skyrocketed to low-earth orbit, while INTC stock has floundered.Source: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com What has bothered Intel's management team the most, however, was AMD's production acumen. No longer content on dominating the lower-tier processor categories, the smaller semiconductor firm began flexing its muscle. As I mentioned a few months back, AMD stole the show at the 2019 Computex industry conference. With high-level processors designed to compete and steal market share from INTC, Intel stock looked incredibly vulnerable.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsHowever, we're starting to see signs that the tide might turn back to Intel's favor. Recently, the company has made substantial progress with its Agilex field-programmable gate arrays, or FPGAs. These are modular chips capable of easy configurations to fit multiple functionalities. As such, FPGAs are incredibly valuable to companies advancing 5G network technologies. That offers synergistic opportunities that can bolster INTC stock.Additionally, Intel claims that the Agilex FPGAs can either impart more performance or less power consumption than its predecessor FPGAs. The company claims that the Agilex is also useful for data centers, which I don't doubt. As a study from Berkeley Economic Review pointed out, Intel has a strong reputation for producing reliable chips. * 10 Recession-Resistant Services Stocks to Buy Best of all, the semiconductor giant snagged Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) as an FPGA client. Naturally, this is a massive development for Intel stock. However, investors remain leery about the equity's choppy manners: can they trust INTC? Comparisons Benefit INTC StockMy answer to the above question is yes. However, it's a nuanced affirmation.Obviously, one of the big challenges with the semiconductor industry is the U.S.-China trade war. If it keeps dragging, as some economists suggest, that may cap growth in the sector. Moreover, I'm eyeballing the economic turmoil in Germany and Europe overall. Combined, these headwinds could devastate consumer demand.That's the bad news for Intel stock. The good news is that the U.S. is locked in a technological race with its adversaries. Now more than ever, we need our big tech firms to innovate. Part of the enthusiasm over the Agilex FPGAs is our collective progress in the space. Additionally, Intel has significantly narrowed the production and distribution gap with rival Xilinx (NASDAQ:XLNX), which leads the sector. Naturally, this benefits INTC stock longer term.Therefore, if you believe that certain semiconductors will perform well even against economic headwinds, you should consider Intel stock. Because compared to its rival AMD, INTC at this juncture may have the better outlook.Yes, I'll concede that AMD has better sex appeal because of their flashy new processors. Also, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su engineered one of the most remarkable comebacks in business.At the same time, this is also a "what have you done for me lately" business. And right now, some evidence indicates that AMD may have pushed their products too quickly without proper quality control. In the nearer term, that might not matter much. But over the long haul, it could worry clients.Let's face it: in a recession, you want every dollar to count. Therefore, when organizations invest in data centers, for instance, they want consistent, reliable performance. In that department, Intel has the proven history, bolstering the argument for INTC stock. Technical Comparison Also Supports Intel StockMoreover, if we suffer a recession, I believe the technical argument also supports INTC stock. For one thing, AMD has ripped out another strong year so far, gaining 71% year-to-date. On the other hand, Intel is quite the laggard relatively speaking, up less than 16%. * 7 Stocks the Insiders Are Buying on Sale However, this also helps Intel's case, especially if the markets get choppy. AMD has enjoyed speculative fervor, and for good reason. But Advanced Micro is unlikely to continue generating the kind of exciting news to take shares to even higher plateaus.In contrast, Intel shares have been stuck in sideways trading for most of the trailing two-year period. After so much terrible news, shares may experience an upswing. Also, don't forget that Intel pays you a dividend, giving you some incentive to hold.As I said before, the semiconductor space has risks. But if you're searching in this area, I'd rather go for the beaten-up name with an exciting product pipeline rather than one that has already enjoyed the red-carpet treatment many times over.As of this writing, Josh Enomoto did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Recession-Resistant Services Stocks to Buy * 7 Hot Penny Stocks to Consider Now * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now The post Why Intel Stock Is the Best Semiconductor Name to Buy Now appeared first on InvestorPlace.
In early May 2019, cloud computing and virtualization software giant VMware (NYSE:VMW) looked unstoppable. VMware was riding high on big-time partnerships with cloud platform giants Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), the numbers looked great and VMW stock was soaring towards fresh all-time highs around $200.Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com But, as seasoned investors know, when stocks look unstoppable -- well, that's when they are most likely to be stopped.VMware stock has been no exception. In May 2019, VMW stock touched an all-time high of $206. Ever since, shares have shed more than 25%. The culprit behind the selloff? VMware has gone on an aggressive buying spree, and investors aren't sure if all of these acquisitions will pay off in the long run. Organic revenue growth has also slowed over the past few months. Profit margins have started moving in the opposite direction.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsPut all that together against a stretched valuation backdrop -- VMW stock was trading at a multi-year high, 30-times forward earnings multiple in May -- and it's no wonder that the VMware stock price has come crashing down over the past few months.What's next? I'd say some choppy trading. Technically and optically, it looks like the worst of the selloff is over. But, fundamentally, near- to medium-term upside in shares is not compelling.As such, I'm choosing to watch this one from the sidelines. Neither the bull nor the bear theses look all that good here. Technicals and Optics Look GoodThe technicals and optics for VMware stock look good, and both support the notion that the worst of this recent selloff is over.From a technical perspective, you have a stock that was severely beaten up. But, shares have shown strength over the past few weeks. They are up nearly 20% from their late August lows, and the stock is getting awfully close to crossing above its 50-day moving average in a convincing manner. If the stock does retake this trend line, then the technicals will signal that a bottom in this selloff has been put in. * 7 CBD Stocks to Buy That Are Still Worth Your Investment Dollars On the optics side, broader market sentiment has improved meaningfully over the past several years. With respect to VMW stock specifically, trade tensions have cooled and global economic activity has picked up. Both of these things have brought investors back into large-cap cloud stocks with global exposure, because there is a feeling out there that the global semiconductor market -- which has been retreating for the entire year -- is about to turn higher.In the big picture, then, the technicals and optics here support the bull thesis for VMW stock. Valuation Risks Remain for VMware StockThe problem here is that the fundamentals do not support the bull thesis for VMW stock.Here's the VMware story in a nutshell. Several years back, the company pioneered x86 server virtualization. It was a huge hit. Companies started to realize that virtualization was a scalable way to perform IT workloads at significantly reduced costs. And when they started to employ server virtualization, they overwhelmingly did so with VMware. But, come 2016-17, the server virtualization market had pretty much dried up. That is, enterprise data-center virtualization levels were nearing 100%.Growth at VMware dried up, too. Once a steady 15%-plus revenue growth company, VMware slipped to a 7% revenue growth rate in fiscal 2017. VMware responded by leveraging multiple acquisitions across many different verticals to transform into a multi-cloud infrastructure company focused on software-defined data centers, hyper-converged infrastructures and security.Growth came back into the picture. Throughout fiscal 2019 and 2020, revenue growth rates have been north of 10%. But, here's the catch -- revenue growth is just 12%, and slowing, with analysts modeling for sub-12% revenue growth this year and sub-10% revenue growth next year.Thus, while growth has come back into the picture, VMware is still just a roughly 10% revenue growth company. That's not very big. Worse yet, gross margins are actually maxing out because the higher-margin licensing business is slowing while the lower-margin services business isn't slowing. Operating expense rates aren't dropping much because VMware is having to spend a bunch to sustain double-digit revenue growth in new competitive markets. Operating margins have actually retreated in FY20.VMware is growing again, but not by that much. The stock trades at over 20-times forward earnings. That's a big growth multiple. This is a low growth company. That's not a great combination. Bottom Line on VMW StockThere may not be much pain ahead for VMW stock. But there won't be much gain, either. This is a low growth company trading at a big growth valuation. That combination most normally results in choppy trade, meaning VMW stock going forward is in a "buy the dip, sell the rally" situation.As of this writing, Luke Lango did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 CBD Stocks to Buy That Are Still Worth Your Investment Dollars * 5 Stocks to Buy With Great Charts * 5 Goldman Sachs Stocks to Buy with Over 20% Upside Potential The post Beware Valuation Risks on VMware Stock appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Investing.com - Stocks recovered most of their losses by the end of trading Wednesday, erasing an afternoon selloff after the Federal Reserve cut its key interest rate for the second time in two meetings.
One of the best ways to invest for longer-term growth is to identify massive, ground-shifting developments. Once you identify these, find companies which are set to become leaders in the new market.Technology is one of those sectors which tends to present many new developments. These companies mint billionaires from founders and make millions more for the savvy individual investors who get into them early. And one of the big new-new things in technology is Artificial Intelligence stocks, or AI.AI is a big blanket of technology and application. Even some of the most mundane bits of mechanicals can be called AI. Take most modern transmissions in cars. Transmissions used to be dumb. They shifted in pre-determined patterns if automatic -- or merely followed the shifts from manual inputs from drivers. But today's automatic units including from ZF (a public-private company in Germany) have learning capabilities which adapt, learning how the driver of the car operates.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThen there is the example that I use on a daily basis involves artificial intelligence (AI). I have a Bloomberg Terminal, which is a vital tool for pulling all sorts of data and information on any economy, market or security. But it also comes with over 2,700 journalists around the globe generating news and other stories each and every day.But interestingly, Bloomberg has adopted AI which combs basic company news releases as well as economic data releases and other basic news and lets its army of robotic writers do the work which increasingly provides a larger percentage of its posted stories.Nothing yet subjective in the robotic writing -- but you never know how this will develop. By the way, I am not a robot. * 7 CBD Stocks to Buy That Are Still Worth Your Investment Dollars But AI has a lot further to go. It can and will lead to autonomous cars and new medical and surgical treatments, as well as design of goods and a host of other applications. This also includes trading of stocks, bonds and other securities. But like for any newer, developing and evolving technology, AI has a lot than can go wrong for individual companies. So, I'll present some artificial intelligence stocks that are proven in their capabilities and will be there for the longer run. And to boot, they also pay dividends. Artificial Intelligence Stocks to Buy: Hercules Capital (HTGC)Hercules Capital Total Return Source BloombergHercules Capital (NYSE:HTGC) is based in the U.S. tech mecca of Palo Alto, California, with offices around the nation. It focuses on working with technology companies and has a good track record of financing startups that become bold-faced names in the tech market. The company makes loans and provides other financing, and it also takes equity participation in its portfolio companies. It then works with them like bankers used to do by guiding them along to an exit strategy of being bought or through an IPO.It has numerous hardware and software companies that are part and parcel of the AI sector.Its net interest margin (NIM) which is measure of the cost of funding against interest earnings is ample at 8.9% and the efficiency ratio is good at 52.5% (the lower the ratio, the greater the profitability). Revenues are up 8.8% for the trailing year. That feeds a nice annual dividend stream, including regular special distributions, yielding around 10%.It is a proven performer -- including for the year to date, with a return so far of 18%, before you count in the dividends. Microsoft (MSFT)Microsoft Total Return, Source: BloombergMicrosoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is a major provider of all sorts of software and services which are mission critical for AI. The company offers software and systems which are used to design and operate AI components and whole systems. And to make AI truly work -- particularly with remote devices, including autonomous cars -- you need cloud computing. And Microsoft is currently the second largest cloud company with its Azure services unit.The company continues to move to further its reformation as the poster child for successful tech companies. It's moving from one-off hardware or software sales to recurring revenues from subscriptions as well as contract sales.Revenues are climbing, gaining 14% in the trailing year. Operating margins are fat at 34%, and in turn, these drive a return on equity of a whopping 42.4%.The dividend is a bit less at 1.34% but the distributions continue to rise, with five-year annual gains at 10.44%.And the stock market continues to recognize its very real performance, with the Microsoft stocki price gaining 37% year to date. AT&T (T)AT&T Total Return, Source: BloombergYes, Ma Bell. AT&T (NYSE:T) is also vital for AI. Sure, chip makers might get a lot of the attention. But just like for Microsoft, it is the mainstream companies that provide the guts for AI to operate. And as Hercules provides the next up-and-comers' products, Ma Bell and its wireless services will make them all be able to get access to data to operate.The company is the leading wireless communications company and provides fixed-line data communications for data centers and cloud operations. It also has cable and satellite transmission and content units, including Warner Brothers. Warner Brothers, of course, provides AI engineers with visions of what could be from science fiction films and series.Revenues are a little tamer for now, gaining 6.4% in the trailing year. But operating margins are good at 15.3% which makes for a good return on equity for a big company at 9.5%.The dividend is running at a whopping 5.5% and the distributions keep rising year in and year out by an average of over 2% per year.And thanks to more in the market figuring out what's under the hood of the company including some activist investment funds - the shares have returned 39.08% year to date. Digital Realty Trust (DLR)Digital Realty Trust Total Return, Source: BloombergAs noted above in Microsoft, cloud computing is vital to AI. And to make the cloud work, you need massive data centers everywhere.This is where Digital Realty Trust (NYSE:DLR) comes in.This is a real estate investment trust (REIT) which owns data centers around the U.S. and in major markets around the world where AI is being developed and implemented. And data centers are hard to quickly replicate -- making the assets of the REIT all the more valuable.Revenues are up in the trailing year by 23.9%. And the return from its funds from operations (FFO), which measures the return just from the actual revenues from its properties, is a very high for a REIT rate of 16.40%.And like for REITs in general, the dividend is higher than the general stock market at 3.38%. It has been on the rise just over the past twelve months by 7.32% in distribution amounts.Digital Realty Trust is also a good performer for shareholders with a total return for just the year to date of 23.04%. That is right on track with the returns over the past 10 years at 330.91% for an average annual equivalent return of 15.72%. And one more word on that nice dividend. Thanks to the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 and a particular line item, the dividend comes with a 20% deduction for individual investors from their income tax liability, making the yield even higher on a tax-equivalent basis.Those are my picks for artificial intelligence stocks with proven companies with less risk and attractive dividends. Perhaps you might like to see more of my market research and recommendations for further safer growth and bigger reliable income. For more, look at my Profitable Investing. Click here to learn more.Neil George was once an all-star bond trader, but now he works morning and night to steer readers away from traps -- and into safe, top-performing income investments. Neil's new income program is a cash-generating machine…one that can help you collect $208 every day the market's open. Neil does not have any holdings in the securities mentioned above. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 CBD Stocks to Buy That Are Still Worth Your Investment Dollars * 5 Stocks to Buy With Great Charts * 5 Goldman Sachs Stocks to Buy with Over 20% Upside Potential The post 4 Artificial Intelligence Stocks for Any Investor appeared first on InvestorPlace.
The headline "The Stock-Buyback Swindle" says it all. The Atlantic magazine's August issue had a story about how American companies are spending trillions on stock buybacks to enrich their CEOs. Much of the article's content has been covered extensively by business media -- both the pros and cons -- so I won't rehash the arguments. However, one of author Jerry Useem's paragraphs bears repeating because it hits at the core of the problem."Corporations describe the practice as an efficient way to return money to shareholders," Useem wrote. "By reducing the number of shares outstanding in the market, a buyback lifts the price of each remaining share. But that spike is often short-lived: A study by the research firm Fortuna Advisors found that, five years out, the stocks of companies that engaged in heavy buybacks performed worse for shareholders than the stocks of companies that didn't."InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsI've always believed that if a company wants to allocate its free cash flow to shareholders, it should do so by paying a special dividend, not by repurchasing shares or paying a regular dividend. * 7 CBD Stocks to Buy That Are Still Worth Your Investment Dollars Stock buybacks distort earnings growth while regular quarterly dividends ratchet up shareholder expectations. Neither is good for the long-term health of a business. But it's especially galling when stock buybacks enrich a CEO at the expense of the rank-and-file employees.Love them or hate them, these 10 companies are making their CEOs rich. Stock Buybacks Making CEOs Rich: Oracle (ORCL)Source: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com According to the Equilar 200 study, Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) co-CEOs Mark Hurd and Safra Catz earned a combined $298 million in total compensation in fiscal 2017 and 2018, of which approximately 96% came from stock grants and option awards. In 2018, Hurd and Catz were paid 1,205 times the company's median pay of $89,887. As a tandem, Hurd and Catz own 49.7 million shares, which are worth $2.7 billion at current prices. The duo's compensation in 2017 and 2018 fails to take into consideration the amount paid through vested shares. Catz received $158 million in shares that vested in fiscal 2018 alone. As for share repurchases, the company repurchased $51 billion of its stock over the past three fiscal years, reducing its share count by 14%. Not surprisingly, its earnings per share increased by 43% over the same period. JPMorgan (JPM)Source: Bjorn Bakstad / Shutterstock.com JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) CEO James Dimon earned $58 million in total compensation in fiscal 2017 and 2018, approximately 77% of it from stock grants. In 2018, Dimon was paid 381 times the company's median pay of $78,923.Dimon owns 10 million shares if you include options, which are worth $1.2 billion at current prices. In 2018 alone, the JPMorgan CEO had $11 million in stock vest on top of his total compensation for the year. As for share repurchases, the company repurchased $44.5 billion of its stock over the past three fiscal years, reducing its share count by 10%. JPMorgan increased its earnings per share by 50% over the same period. Microsoft (MSFT)Source: gguy / Shutterstock.com Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) CEO Satya Nadella earned $46 million in total compensation in fiscal 2017 and 2018, approximately 61% of it from stock grants and option awards. In 2018, Nadella was paid a relatively reasonable 154 times the company's median pay of $167,689.Nadella owns 2.9 million shares if you include options, which are worth $393.6 million at current prices. In 2018 alone, Nadella had $25.8 million in Microsoft stock vest on top of his total compensation for the year. As for share repurchases, the company repurchased $42 billion of its stock over the past three fiscal years, reducing its share count by 3%. That's not surprising given how much stock the company issues to employees for a job well done. Microsoft managed to increase its earnings per share by 98% over the same period. Merck (MRK)Source: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com Merck (NYSE:MRK) CEO Kenneth Frazier earned $38 million in total compensation in fiscal 2017 and 2018, approximately 68% of it from stock grants and option awards. In 2018, Frazier was paid 215 times the company's median pay of $82,173.Frazier owns 3.7 million shares if you include options, which are worth $307.5 million at current prices. In 2018 alone, the Merck CEO had $41.3 million in stock vest on top of his total compensation for the year. As for share repurchases, the company repurchased $16.5 billion of its stock over the past three fiscal years, reducing its share count by 6%. Merck managed to increase its earnings per share by 49% over the same period. However, its GAAP results have been very choppy over the past decade. You'll want to take this with a grain of salt. Apple (AAPL)Source: View Apart / Shutterstock.com According to the 2018 version of the Equilar 200, a list of the 200 highest-paid CEOs in America, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook made $29 million in total compensation in fiscal 2017 and 2018, none of it from stock grants or options. In 2018, Cook was paid 283 times the company's median pay of $55,426. However, one needn't feel sorry for Cook. He owns 878,425 shares of Apple stock worth $198 million as (as of Sept. 12). In addition, Cook has had more than a million shares of AAPL stock vest in the last two years alone. This means his compensation for 2017 and 2018 was actually much higher than $29 million. As for share repurchases, the company repurchased $135.3 billion of its stock over the past three fiscal years, reducing its share count by 14%. Not surprisingly, its earnings per share increased by 29% over the same period. Bank of America (BAC)Source: 4kclips / Shutterstock.com Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) CEO Brian Moynihan earned $43 million in total compensation in fiscal 2017 and 2018, approximately 93% of it from stock grants and option awards. In 2018, Moynihan was paid 247 times the company's median pay of $92,040.Moynihan owns 3.4 million shares if you include options, which are worth $100.9 million at current prices. In 2018 alone, Moynihan had $23.1 million in stock vest on top of his total compensation for the year. As for share repurchases, the company repurchased $38 billion of its stock over the past three fiscal years, reducing its share count by 9%. Bank of America increased its earnings per share by 99% over the same period. eBay (EBAY)Source: Mano Kors / Shutterstock.com eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) CEO Devin Wenig earned $36 million in total compensation in fiscal 2017 and 2018, approximately 82% of it from stock grants and option awards. In 2018, Wenig was paid a 152 times the company's median pay of $119,562.Wenig owns 1.7 million shares if you include options, which are worth $67.5 million at current prices. In 2018, Wenig had $18.8 million in eBay stock vest on top of his total compensation. As for share repurchases, the company repurchased $10.1 billion of its stock over the past three fiscal years, reducing its share count by 19%. eBay increased its earnings per share by 80% over the same period. Qualcomm (QCOM)Source: photobyphm / Shutterstock.com Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) CEO Steven Mollenkopf earned $32 million in total compensation in fiscal 2017 and 2018, approximately 75% of it from stock grants and option awards. In 2018, Mollenkopf was paid a 233 times the company's median pay of $85,592.Mollenkopf owns 679,813 shares if you include options, which are worth $53.8 million at current prices. In 2018 alone, the CEO had $12.9 million in stock vest on top of his total compensation for the year. As for share repurchases, the company repurchased $27.8 billion of its stock over the past three fiscal years, reducing its share count by 11%. Qualcomm decreased its earnings per share by 203% over the same period. On a non-GAAP basis, it decreased earnings per share by 21%. Pfizer (PFE)Source: Manuel Esteban / Shutterstock.com Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) CEO Ian Read earned $46 million in total compensation in fiscal 2017 and 2018, approximately 76% of it from stock grants and option awards. In January 2019, Read passed down the company to Albert Bourla after eight years at Pfizer's helm. In 2018, Read was paid 244 times the company's median pay of $80,011.Read owns 1.3 million shares if you include options, which are worth $48.5 million at current prices. In 2018 alone, Read had $10.6 million in stock vest on top of his total compensation for the year. As for share repurchases, the company repurchased $22.2 billion of its stock over the past three fiscal years, reducing its share count by 5%. Pfizer increased its earnings per share by 68% over the same period. Cisco (CSCO)Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) CEO Charles Robbins earned $38 million in total compensation in fiscal 2017 and 2018, approximately 73% of it from stock grants and option awards. In 2018, Robbins was paid 160 times the company's median pay of $132,764, the second-highest median pay (behind Microsoft) of the 10 stocks listed in this article. Robbins owns 139,189 shares if you include options, which are worth $6.9 million at current prices. Of the CEOs on this list, Robbins has the smallest ownership position in terms of total dollars in stock held. In 2018, Robbins had $9 million in stock vest on top of his total compensation for the year. As for share repurchases, the company repurchased $41.9 billion of its stock over the past three fiscal years, reducing its share count by 13%. Cisco increased its earnings per share by 24% over the same period. At the time of this writing Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 CBD Stocks to Buy That Are Still Worth Your Investment Dollars * 5 Stocks to Buy With Great Charts * 5 Goldman Sachs Stocks to Buy with Over 20% Upside Potential The post 10 Companies Making Their CEOs Rich appeared first on InvestorPlace.
REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- On Wednesday, Nextlink Internet and Microsoft Corp. announced a partnership that will help close the broadband gap in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas, bringing high-speed internet to hundreds of rural communities. The agreement will further enable Nextlink to substantially expand their coverage areas and is part of the Microsoft Airband Initiative, which is focused on addressing this national crisis, with the goal of extending broadband access to over 3 million unserved people in rural America by July 2022.
There's a simple bull case for Nokia (NYSE:NOK) stock at the moment. 5G rollouts worldwide should drive demand growth for Nokia products. The company itself is projecting sharp earnings growth in 2020. And NOK stock is cheap, at 11.7x the midpoint of 2020 EPS guidance.Source: RistoH / Shutterstock.com That said, there's also a simple bear case for Nokia stock: we've been here before. NOK stock seemingly has been a turnaround play for most of this decade - and had similarly impressive near-term catalysts along the way.None of those catalysts have reversed the trend. NOK stock is down 40% over the past five years, and has lost two-thirds of its value in the last decade. Maybe this time is different - but the history of the tech industry, too, suggests a difficult path to upside, even with a current valuation that looks rather cheap.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips NOK Stock Has Been Here BeforeAs I detailed earlier this year, Nokia has had chances to drive growth -- and reverse the narrative surrounding the stock. The $7 billion sale of the company's phone business to Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) turned out to be a brilliant deal. Microsoft wound up losing at least $8 billion, and finally exited at a sale price of just $350 million. Yet the huge cash infusion did little for NOK stock. * 7 Momentum Stocks to Buy On the Dip Indeed, Nokia used that cash to help bankroll its acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent, which was to make the company a networking giant. That thesis didn't pan out. The company then re-entered the phone business. That plan hasn't worked.The story now is 5G. An admittedly strong second quarter earnings report contained positive news about customer retention in the shift from 4G. Nokia expects the full benefit to start hitting its P&L in 2020. And the staggered pace of the global rollout suggests that demand should continue for years to come.That said, Nokia already has admitted that it will struggle to hit its 2019 EPS guidance. Wall Street, for what it's worth, is betting against 2020 projections as well. Consensus of $0.40 is below the company's range of €0.37-€0.42 ($0.41-$0.45). The story is attractive -- but it's been attractive before. For this entire decade, Nokia simply hasn't been able to fulfill its potential. Is Nokia Stock an Outlier in Tech?To be fair, it's not easy to execute a turnaround, particularly in tech. There are no shortage of companies who, like Nokia, have struggled to adapt.There have been some winners. Microsoft itself is the most obvious one. It was only six years ago that Microsoft stock had traded sideways for a decade. Earnings growth had been minimal for years. Microsoft is now the most valuable company in the world.But Microsoft is a software play. In hardware, products can become 'commoditized'. And competition from China, in particular, is much stiffer. Indeed, Huawei has taken significant market share, with its political worries another potential tailwind for NOK stock.And in hardware, turnarounds have been difficult. IBM (NYSE:IBM) touched a nine-year low late last year. Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) has returned 9% over the past two years while broad markets have risen sharply. Blackberry (NASDAQ:BB) has been a perpetual "next year" story as both a hardware play and, more recently, a software play. Post-split gains for Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE:HPE) have stalled out. Nokia rival Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) is down 37% over the past five years, a performance in line with that of Nokia stock.There's really only old-line large-cap hardware play that has driven consistent gains: Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO). And that company has scale and market dominance that Nokia simply doesn't have.To be sure, history alone doesn't suggest that NOK stock can't rally this time. There is an opportunity in 5G. The hit to Huawei's reputation at least weakens a key competitor. And Nokia stock is cheap enough if guidance is hit. * 7 CBD Stocks to Buy That Are Still Worth Your Investment Dollars But NOK also is a classic "this time is different" case. And as the old saw goes, those are the four most dangerous words in investing. That's been true in the past for Nokia and many similar tech plays. It could be true this time as well.As of this writing, Vince Martin has no positions in any securities mentioned. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 CBD Stocks to Buy That Are Still Worth Your Investment Dollars * 5 Stocks to Buy With Great Charts * 5 Goldman Sachs Stocks to Buy with Over 20% Upside Potential The post History Suggests Nokia Stock Will Stay Stuck appeared first on InvestorPlace.
After the stock bottomed at $120 in June, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares traded to new highs at $141.68. But since August, the stock is stuck in a very narrow trading range at $136. Microsoft stock still is modestly high but the P/E has room to expand.Source: gguy / Shutterstock.com Expect Microsoft to report a strong Q1 report next month, following last quarter's (Q4) results. In the last period, the company reported double-digit growth from all but one segment.Its Intelligent Cloud division grew 19% year-on-year, while the More Personal Computing grew 4%. Still, the gross margin of 15% is a 2 point improvement. At an EPS of $1.71 or an annualized P/E of 19.9 times, MSFT stock borders on being too cheap to ignore.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsInvestors may hunt for inexpensive technology stocks like Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), whose P/E is 12.2 times. But Intel faces elevating competitive pressures from AMD (NASDAQ:AMD), so the stock reflects the uncertainties ahead.Microsoft has strong bookings growth in the commercial space. In Q4, bookings grew 25%, with the commercial revenue annuity mix accounting for 90% of that total. * 7 CBD Stocks to Buy That Are Still Worth Your Investment Dollars The software giant is in the sweet spot of enjoying recurring revenue. Its commercial cloud revenue, which made Microsoft $11 billion in revenue, enjoyed a gross margin of 65%. Growth Catalysts and Microsoft StockMicrosoft has many growth catalysts to count on in the next quarter and in 2020. Office software sales are benefiting from commercial clients signing up for Office 365, and on the consumer market, revenue grew 6% in the last quarter. Microsoft now has 34.8 million consumer subscribers. With the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) smartphone refresh and Android suppliers like Samsung and Xaomi launching new devices, expect more Office 365 sign-ups next year.The intelligent cloud space enjoys even better growth. Azure revenue grew 64%, which suggests Microsoft is taking market share from Amazon.com's (NASDAQ:AMZN) AWS.Although hardware sales contribute to only a small part of revenue, it too is growing. Surface revenue grew 18% in Q4/FY2019. Microsoft will host the next Surface event, slated for Oct. 2.Announcing a refreshed Surface, one year after the last launch and ahead of the holidays may prove timely. Last week, Apple announced a new iPad and MacBook Air. Microsoft may announce a Surface Pro 6 hybrid, an updated Surface Go tablet, and a Surface laptop. Personal Computing and Microsoft StockThe Windows operating system is still at the core of the company's growth ambitions. Commercial markets still need new PCs every few years and a stable operating system.As the market prepares for the end of Windows 7 support, expect a surge in sales of Windows 10 software. And even though Surface device sales brought in $2.05 billion, down from $2.29 billion last year, look for Microsoft to enjoy the hype for these products. If Surface devices become the standard for the hybrid notebook and tablet form factor, it has a good chance of taking Apple's iPad market share.Apple claimed 38.1% of the global tablet market in the second quarter. Samsung, Huawei, and Amazon claim the number two to four positions. Microsoft is not on the list. If IDC does not consider the Surface as a tablet, it does not matter. Microsoft needs to convince consumers and businesses to choose a Surface or Surface Go device over an iPad for work purposes. The Bottom Line on Microsoft StockAnalysts who offer a 1-year price target on MSFT stock think the stock is worth $153.77. This is ~13% above the recent price of $136.33. Various DCF EBITDA and Revenue exit models suggest the stock is trading at close to fair value.It will take an uptick in revenue growth in the next quarterly report, due next month in October, to justify a higher stock price. Chances are good that will happen.Disclosure: As of this writing, the author did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 CBD Stocks to Buy That Are Still Worth Your Investment Dollars * 5 Stocks to Buy With Great Charts * 5 Goldman Sachs Stocks to Buy with Over 20% Upside Potential The post Look for Microsoft Stock to See a Big Post-Earnings Pop appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Brad Smith, 60, appeared at a Churchill Club and Computer History Museum event in Redwood City on Monday to promote the book, “Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age,” coauthored with Microsoft Communications Director Carol Ann Browne.