Microsoft’s earnings were fine, but the jaw-dropper today was its announcement that it’s buying up to $40 billion worth of its stock – equivalent to 17 percent of the company’s current value. That’s on top of the $30 billlion it just finished buying.
It’s sending a pretty strong message to Wall Street, which whined last quarter about the $2 billion the company plans to spend on new business ventures. Ballmer and company are trying to tell investors: “We can spend on new ventures, and buy more stock than you ever imagined” and “You may not like MSFT but we do, a lot.”
But instead of spending $70 billlion on MSFT, why didn’t the company just buy Google? The search giant was valued today at $83 billion.