[This story is running in the print edition of The Seattle Times on July 20, 2013.]
A day after Microsoft reported fourth-quarter financial results far below what Wall Street analysts had expected, the company’s stock price plunged 11.4 percent — the biggest single-day drop since January 2009.
Microsoft shares closed Friday at $31.40, down $4.04.
The slide reversed some three months of gains, in which Microsoft stock went from the high $20s to an intraday high of $36.43 on Tuesday this week, when it closed at $35.96.
There are rumblings and speculation that the fourth-quarter miss and the stock-price stumble could more easily pave the way for an activist shareholder, such as ValueAct Capital, to push for a seat on the company’s board.
Earlier this year, Jeff Ubben, founder of investment firm ValueAct, divulged that his company had purchased some $2 billion of Microsoft stock, giving it a less than 1 percent stake in the company.
ValueAct would have to notify Microsoft sometime between July 31 and Aug. 30 if it intends to bring any nominations for a board seat or issues for a floor vote during Microsoft’s annual meeting, which is typically held in late November.
ValueAct already has talked with some members of Microsoft’s board about securing a seat, according to a Reuters report Friday. Ubben could not be reached for comment.
[Continue reading the story here.]