One semi-rational two-fold way to look at today’s rumor du jour — Microsoft buying Yahoo, or not … maybe — is a) that people want Microsoft to do something to get out of its perceived funk; and b) that everything is in play.
I accept the former point, and Microsoft should do something. watching it not do something is like watching one of those old movie serials and wanting the person to get off the damn train tracks already. Jump! Jump ! Jump!!
The trouble is, it’s just that the most sensible Microsoft somethings mostly involve the unglamorous business of spinning out parts, cutting spending, paying higher dividends, and generally ceasing to pretend that Microsoft can break the laws of corporate physics and re-energize growth.
On the second point, that’s true too. And the only way you’ll know that merry madness is coming to an end is when people start speaking noisily ill of Jeff Immelt and whispering about a consortium of PE firms working quietly on a bid to take the company private — all $300-plus billion of it — and break it up. [obDisclosure: I appear regularly on the GE-owned CNBC.]
Last fun point. Which company’s stock, Microsoft or Google, has outperformed as of close of markets today (5/4/2007) over the following two periods? The answer can be found by dragging your mouse over the area to the right of the respective question.
- Year-to-date? Microsoft (2.33% vs. Google’s 2.31%).
- Trailing twelve months? Microsoft (30.4% vs Google’s 19.4%)