Bill Gates’ Microsoft holdings have diminished considerable in the last 12 months. Gates has considerably reduced his Microsoft holdings. Analysts wonder if other Microsoft investors could follow suit. Gates might be hedging his bets after watching the company he built into the world’s dominant technology brand turn out to be an also-ran, and trying to play catch-up lately.
Microsoft stock stagnant as rival shares rise
The Microsoft stock has been sold by Gates. This February he has already sold 10 million. Over the last year, Gates has been selling Microsoft shares. Ninety million were sold in just the last year. The interest in the company has been reduced by 22 percent by Gates as a Microsoft co-founder. Microsoft made Gates the richest man in the world, however Microsoft shares have stagnated for about 10 years. Rates for shares in Google, Amazon, Netflix, Apple and some other industries have gone up a lot though. There would have been a 2.74 percent five year annual return on Microsoft stock if you put the money in, in 2001 and cashed it out now. This would be with $1 expenditure. If it were put into Apple stock, the five year return would have done much better. It would have been at 38.8 percent instead.
Modifications in Microsoft with less Gates around
The largest stockholder in Microsoft is still Gates. He owns about 591 million shares right now. That is 7 percent of the Microsoft shares right now; there are 8.4 billion about now. The officials of the company explained that Gates is diversifying Microsoft holdings. This was the explanation. However since Gates stepped away from Microsoft to turn out to be a philanthropist via the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he has watched the business come out on the wrong side of the most essential trends in technology. Microsoft has tried to compete with smartphones, online music, tablet PCs and social networking. It has always been one step behind many businesses though.
Even Microsoft CEO Ballmer doesn’t want stock
Bill Gates’ Microsoft selloff might be a message to business CEO Steve Ballmer. Microsoft hasn’t been doing very well as CEO. He’s been in the position for 11 years now. A smaller role is going to be given to marketing executives while engineering and product specialists will be promoted to leadership in the changes with management that Ballmer has prepared. Investors could be happy for a while about that. It is not something Gates is looking forward to though. Hopefully, investors don’t follow Gates for Ballmer’s sake. In Nov, Ballmer got $1.3 billion because of selling 49.3 million in Microsoft stock shares.