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Microsoft boosted its quarterly dividend by 25% to $0.20 per share, increasing the company’s yield to approximately 3% and topping Wall Street’s estimates. Analysts were expecting the dividend to be raised to $0.19 per share. While the increase was more than analysts were looking for, investors may be disappointed as many were hoping the software giant would share some more of its $53-billion cash stockpile.
However, according to Bloomberg, over 80% of Microsoft’s cash is held outside of the U.S. and if the company was to bring it back into the country, it would have to pay taxes. In addition to the dividend increase, management said it will continue the $40-billion buyback program it started in September 2008. The program expires in 2013, and has roughly $12.2 billion remaining. Separately, Microsoft and Casio reached an agreement which will see Casio may royalties to Microsoft in exchange for Microsoft not pursuing any legal action regarding Casio’s use of Linux.
Microsoft has long contended that Linux violates several patents related to the Windows operating system, and recently several manufacturers who use Linux have opted to pay royalties to the software giant as opposed to committing resources to what could be a lengthy legal battle.
Microsoft (MSFT : NASDAQ : US$25.99), Net Change: -0.99, % Change: -3.67%, Volume: 71,798,931
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