In case you missed it, the hottest story last week was Steve Ballmer
essentially breaking the rules of the high-tech stock market by ack-
nowledging in public how crazy our collective delusion is:
"There is such an overvaluation of technology
stocks, it is absurd," Ballmer said to a group of
journalists here at a technology conference being
given by the Society of American Business Editors
and Writers. "I could put our own company and
others in that category."
The full story:
Stupid, stupid, stupid. Or is it?
One of the key factors working against Microsoft right now is the fat
valuations against minimal revenues of their primary media competitors,
namely Yahoo, eXcite@Home, et al. These companies are able to leverage
on their fat valuations to make paper acquisitions and mergers (well
documented on this list) at values unacheivable in normal circumstances.
So, maybe Ballmer was executing strategy. Try to knock back the bad
boys a few steps to prevent them from broadening their range of services.
The impact of this on the MSFT stock is barely significant when compared
to the broader imapct it has on tech stocks. It could throw the IPO game
into paralysis and help Microsoft make acquisitions much more cheaply
Not so stupid afer all.
Later in the day he said:
"I think it's bad whenever reality gets so out of
line that you get distortion," Ballmer told
Bloomberg Thursday afternoon, hours after
making his valuation statements. "I love our
company. It's a wonderful company. I love my
stock, and I don't sell my stock. Nonetheless I do
believe the things I said to that other group."
The full story:
Regardless, Ballmer is likely to need a flak vest and a riot squad next
time he visits the Valley. Depending upon the degree of outcry, maybe
he'll get offered up as a sacrificial lamb and they'll build him a nice
early retirement package, MSFT-style.