NEW YORK, Sept 15 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Microsoft (MSFT.O) has options. The $2.3 trillion company announced a $60 billion share buyback on Wednesday, despite the fact that its stock has risen 50% in the past 12 months. But it has twice as much in its coffers and plenty of cash flow on the way.
The software firm run by Satya Nadella is reloading its repurchase program after working through an earlier plan. This one may take several quarters, but it is relatively small compared with past years. In fiscal 2006 and 2007, for example, the company repurchased almost $50 billion of shares. Microsoft’s market capitalization was roughly one-seventh of its current value.
That’s when investors feared Microsoft’s best days were behind it. But the shares’ run suggests they have faith. Microsoft has been able to make acquisitions without too much pushback from regulators , compared with fellow cash-rich tech companies read more . With analysts expecting free cash flow of $63 billion by the fiscal year end next June, according to Refinitiv, Nadella may find more creative ways to spend his cash. (By Robert Cyran)