From: Adam Rifkin -4K (adam@XeNT.ics.uci.edu)
Date: Tue Apr 25 2000 - 14:51:32 PDT
...but before I get into Larry Ellison, let me first point out that
Microsoft is repricing its option pool...
> SEATTLE, April 25 (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp.'s Chief Executive Steve
> Ballmer said on Tuesday that he was confident the software giant would
> eventually win the U.S. government's antitrust case against it and that
> the company would not be broken up.
> Ballmer, writing in an e-mail obtained by Reuters and speaking in a
> telephone interview, said he was optimistic about Microsoft's future
> despite a 16 percent drop in its stock price on Monday after several
> Wall Street analysts downgraded the company amid a lackluster outlook
> for the coming months.
> Speaking about the company's legal woes, which have added to investor
> concerns, Ballmer said that nothing in the case, brought by the Justice
> Department and 19 states, justified breaking Microsoft into several
> ``This company, which has done so many great things for consumers and the
> American economy over the last 25 years, will not be broken up,'' Ballmer
> wrote. ``No matter what the newspaper headlines say, absolutely nothing in
> the current case justifies breaking us up.''
> Ballmer also announced that all Microsoft employees would be given new stock
> options priced at Monday's closing price, which was a 52-week low for the
> Redmond, Wash.-based company. He said that move was taken to ``pre-empt''
> concerns by employees over their financial future at Microsoft.
Also, here's a fascinating snippet from Microsoft's 10-Q forwarded to me
from an EconDropout about Microsoft's incentive to get the stock above
78 and keep it there...
> To enhance its stock repurchase program, Microsoft sold put warrants to
> independent third parties. These put warrants entitle the holders to
> sell shares of Microsoft common stock to the Company on certain dates at
> specified prices. On December 31, 1999, 163 million warrants were
> outstanding with strike prices ranging from $69 to $78 per share. The
> put warrants expire between June 2000 and December 2002. The outstanding
> put warrants permit a net-share settlement at the Company's option and
> do not result in a put warrant liability on the balance sheet."
> And its put warrant proceeds for the six months ending December 31, 1999
> were $472 million.
Now for the main course, from The Industry Standard:
> Not inane enough yet? Try to care about who's richer, Larry Ellison or
> Bill Gates. This competition actually made the front page of the Los
> Angeles Times today. If you're a tech investor, counting other
> people's money may be less depressing than looking at your own.
> Microsoft: Spin-Off City?
> White House Will Be Briefed on Plan to Break Up Microsoft
> U.S. Hoping 2 Microsoft Monopolies Are Gentler Than One
> Justice Department Is Said to Want Microsoft Broken Up Into 2 Competing
> Are 'Baby Bills' in Your Future?
> Microsoft Briefing Planned
> Breakup Good for MS?
> Microsoft, Gates Take a Beating
> Microsoft Anxiety Rises, Stock Sinks
> Microsoft, Gates Take Their Lumps
> Antitrust Woes Dog Microsoft
> Investors Find Vulnerability in Microsoft
> 'Constrained Monopoly' for MS
> All or Nothing?
> The Night Watch: Microsoft Loyalists Give Stock Bit of a Boost
> Fears of Microsoft's Fate Damage Market
> Dan Gillmor: Microsoft Breakup Is Hot Issue
> Microsoft Fears Drag Down US Technology Stocks
> Gates on Brink of Losing His 'Richest' Title
> World's Richest Man - Larry Ellison? (Reuters)
> Ellison Claims Richest Man Title
Ah, Larry Ellison, model human being: "While Bill tinkers with code,
works 80-hour weeks -- and figures out a way to guide his company
through the antitrust mess -- exquisitely tailored, libidinous Larry
consummates email affairs, flits about the world on yachting adventures,
and lands his $38 million private jet wherever and whenever he feels
like it, thank you very much (When the City of San Jose cited Ellison
for repeatedly landing his private jet after hours, Ellison sued.)"
Poor Warren Buffett can't get no respect: "Investor Warren Buffett, 69,
chairman of holding company Berkshire Hathaway Inc., was listed as the
second-richest man in the world by Forbes Magazine in 1999. His 477,166
shares of Berkshire Hathaway are valued at $28.6 billion."
And what the heck is this?
> "It's all tied up in the world shifting from a 'PC-centric' vision to
> more of an Internet world," said Robert F. Foster, executive director
> of the Center for Management in the Information Economy at UCLA's
> Anderson graduate school of management. "Oracle has done a good job of
> re-morphing itself into an Internet play."
Oracle is an Internet play? Um, do the words Internet Explorer,
Frontpage, Pocket PC, SQL Server, MSN, MSN Messenger, and Expedia mean
nothing to this guy?
We are completely focused on building great technology, growing our business and pursuing our mission of spreading intelligence everywhere. -- Michael Saylor
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