Who says monopoly doesn’t pay?
The New York Times is reporting that Microsoft is to give away over $30 billion — to its shareholders. It seems that the cash mountain accumulating under Messrs Gates and Ballmer had finally become too irritating for Wall Street. Here’s the gist of the NYT story:
‘A large cash distribution to shareholders had been expected, according to Wall Street analysts, given investor pressures. Microsoft shares soared in the 1990’s, but have been treading water in recent years as the revenue growth has slowed.
At the same time, there has been mounting pressure on the company to do something about its mounting hoard of cash, which has ballooned to $56 billion. The $32 billion payout, which will be paid in December, will leave the company with more than $20 billion on hand.
“This has been a low- to medium-grade issue for at least a year now, and a high-grade issue in the last couple of months,” said Charles J. di Bona, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Company. “Most investors would ask what took so long.”
Microsoft generates roughly $1 billion in extra cash each month. “I don’t know any company out there that generates that kind of excess cash,”‘Mr. di Bona said.
Nor do I. Now I wonder why that is….