The Delusional Mr. Ballmer

I don’t work at Microsoft any longer and I dumped the last of my MSFT stock earlier this year.  And I feel good about it especially after reading the description of the latest shareholders’ meeting.  Mr. Ballmer reprised his past performances, telling everyone what a great year the company had and how rosy the future is, emphasizing –get this–: “We are in the Windows era. We were, we are and we always will be.”  How’s that for thinking outside the box?  He’s saying effectively, “You know that stuff we did in 1981?  It was great and that’s all we’re ever going to do.”

I’m stunned how a CEO and corporate board can have so little regard for the shareholders.  They absolutely don’t care that MSFT stock price has been flat for a decade and seem to think it’s unreasonable for shareholders to ask for a better ROI than zero.

MSFT 10-Year Stock Price Graph

MSFT ended the day yesterday at $26.74.  Ten years ago, Nov. 16 2001, it closed at $32.88.  By comparison, McDonalds, another mature company with a pretty basic product line has managed to raise its share price from $28.01 to $94.47 while paying out a 2.5% dividend.

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