Windows 8 release and the introduction of the Windows smart phone haven't done much to get Wall Street to love Microsoft (MSFT) – despite it being one of the most talked about stocks.
Should there be a change at the top?
Much has been said about Steve Ballmer and his lackluster performance in 2012. It actually seems as though the move to replace Bill Gates with Ballmer back in 2000 may not have been the best for the Redmond, WA based software titan. Ballmer has not been as innovative as Gates and product development has suffered. In January of 2000, Steve took over as CEO and in that year alone, the stock price for MSFT dropped by over 50%. The stock has been down ever since.
The P/E ratio is a major valuation metric used not only by those covering large cap tech stocks, but also value investors. MSFT's P/E of 15.08 compared to the Software & Programming industry P/E of 18.6 suggests it could be undervalued. MSFT narrowly beat MarketConsensus News expectations for the last quarter with revenue of $21.46 billion (up 3% year over year).
About those dividend payouts
One thing MSFT is noted for is its large cash pile of $9.6B and these massive cash hoards are becoming quite the standard among large cap tech stocks. This has led to a very generous dividend payout over the last 10 years with an attractive dividend yield of 3.35%. It is what MSFT bulls have been harping about. The juicy dividend and fairly stagnant price action ensures that investors continue to get a high Return on Investment (ROI).[related2][/related2]