Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

Many years ago, someone termed the new leadership in NASDAQ “FANG”… Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google.  Essentially the best of the new tech.

Over the last few years, that morphed into “FAAMG”… Apple and Microsoft got let into the group.  While elder statesmen, there is no doubt that they deserve to be part of tech’s elite.

So powerful is this group that just those five stocks represent 20% of NASDAQ movements.  That is incredible, if not incredibly unbalanced.

And it’s the performance of these five companies that have kept the NASDAQ index from falling like other popular indexes around the world.

For four out of the five companies, the performance has been merited.

We all have to stay at home and have things delivered to us?  Geez, could it get any better for Amazon (AMZN)?

We all have to stay at home and use the cloud to do pretty much everything in our lives… like work… school… socializing… entertainment?  That’s great news for cloud-based leaders like Facebook (FB), Microsoft (MSFT), and Google (GOOG).

So why am I separating Apple (AAPL) from the herd?  After all, our mobile device is absolutely indispensable, right?

Yes, but will people without jobswithout income… scared and uncertain when the crisis will be over… line up for new iPhones come this fall?

I don’t think so.

That is, if there’s even an Apple Store open to line up in front of.

But it’s not just me.  The other day I shared a KeyBanc’s report that iPhone sales in April have declined -77%.

-77%!

No other FAAMG’s business is taking a hit like this… to the contrary, all the other FAAMG’s businesses are being helped by the crisis.

It’s not Apple’s fault that the entire world just stopped.  But it is investors’ fault if they invest in Apple right now.  Because — right now — Apple is getting gutted.

So why is AAPL enjoying the same stock success as these others?  To borrow a phrase from a past crisis:  Irrational exuberance.  

Ultimately reality wins.

I have to hurry this post because Microsoft is about to announce earnings.

For the first time in many years, Microsoft’s earnings are incredibly relevant again.

As many know, MSFT is in the process of successfully reinventing itself… to be a big-time cloud competitor.

Their earnings after the market closes today are important because the market is in desperate need of some kind of clear signal… either that things are still ok in tech land… or they’re not.

It just so happens MSFT is announcing before Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook… which means all eyes will be on their report.

Now, Microsoft has a reasonable stage set.  Adobe reaffirmed guidance last week… which I believe single-handled stopped the market from another 5-10% slide… since everyone was/is feeling like we’ve driven off a cliff… given tariffs… and global tensions… and interest rate hikes… and Trump acting decidedly unpresidential most of the time.

And Netflix killed their earnings, too, which even though it doesn’t seem like it, also helped provide some footing in this decidedly negative market.

But some disturbing things are still happening.  iRobot (IRBT), makers of my favorite electronic device in the world (Roomba!), killed their numbers, too… and the stock was still hammered today… simply because they cited some potential tariff impact… even though they still raised guidance.

What the market wants — craves — now is more assurance… that the consumer is still spending… that interest rates, while increasing, will increase in a slow and measured pace… that oil isn’t going to spike… that tariffs are having a positive effect somewhere in the food chain…

… essentially that the foundation for investment is still sound.

A good report from the once most dominate and influential tech company in the world… that has clawed its way back into relevance… could turn everything on a dime.  Stay tuned!

UPDATE:  Earnings were solid.  Beat on both top and bottom lines.  Stock was up almost 5% at one point in the after-hours market.  (BTW, Tesla TSLA also reported and nailed it… it’s up over 10% in after hours… and ironically they mentioned tariffs and it doesn’t seem to be impacting the pop.)

For the vast majority of my professional career, the proverbial — no, wait, the actual — richest guy in the world (RGITW) has been Bill Gates.

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Bill since the 80’s.  I saw him thoroughly and utterly dominate technology for many decades.  Indeed, he damn near invented the technology industry as we know it today.

Of course, when you know someone, you don’t think of them in crazy, god-like terms.  You think of them as someone fun to drink with… someone that knows a good April Fool prank… someone that even plays a decent game of ping pong.  (BTW, all three of those comments deserves posts by themselves.   ;)

There’s another thing working against Bill in the “crazy, god-like terms” department:  He’s been the RGITW for so long, it’s gotten to be… well… a bit ordinary.

That’s why it surprised me when I felt a little bummed hearing today that Bill is no longer the “RGITW”… he’s only the second RGITW… Jeff Bezo, CEO of Amazon.com, is now the RGITW.

I don’t know Jeff, but he’s built a phenomenal company and is well-deserving of the RGITW title.

Interestingly enough, though, being bumped from the top spot is a pretty great reminder of the absolutely rarefied air Bill has breathed all these decades.

Knowing Bill, he’s not giving it a real second thought… these days he’s far too busy trying to save the planet!

 

Spaces was a terrific blogging tool… not because it was über powerful… or even good looking… but because it was just plain ‘ole simple to use.

At one point, it was the most popular blogging tool in the world. 

Unbelievably (unfathomably?) Microsoft couldn’t figure out how to monetize.  Or maybe they got blindsided by Facebook (like everyone else)?  Or maybe politics got in the way?

Either way — sadly — Microsoft has closed the book on Spaces.

Still… at one point, it was the most popular blogging tool in the world. 

That’s quite an achievement… precious few people in the world can make such a claim… kudos to Mike Connolly and the entire Microsoft Spaces development team for creating something significant and important!