Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) News: Stifel Nicolaus, Steam & More

Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)Microsoft Corp. Stock Rating Lowered by Stifel Nicolaus (MSFT) (Zolmax)
Stifel Nicolaus lowered shares of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Tuesday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. Stifel Nicolaus currently has $36.00 price objective on the stock. “We are lowering our rating on Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) to Hold from Buy and removing our $36 target-price, as we are growing increasingly concerned pricing-pressures and heightened Windows S&M expenses could be a meaningful headwind to revenue/EPS growth in coming-years. As such, we think Street revenue/EPS estimates are too high for 1Q14 and FY14. Although we think Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s software-business (MBD and S&T) and enterprise-story is robust and worth ~$33-$34/share, we believe the Windows headwinds are more substantial than we envisioned a few months ago, especially as it relates to potential ASP-contraction.

Microsoft Hires On Former Steam Boss Jason Holtman (WebProNews)
Games for Windows Live was a great idea bogged down by poor execution. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) attempted to bring the Xbox Live experience to PC games, but the software itself was nowhere near as convenient as Steam. A recent hire at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) may indicate that the Redmond-based company may be trying to improve its Games for Windows initiative. Games industry International reports that Jason Holtman has accepted a job at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) where he’ll focus on making Windows an attractive platform for PC games. For those unfamiliar, Holtman was in charge of Valve’s Steam service for the past eight years before he mysteriously departed the company in early 2013. …Over the last few years, support for Games for Windows Live has dropped off the map. The last major release to support the platform was Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition, and that was mostly due to the developers porting over code from the Xbox 360.

Microsoft lining up Blake’s 7 reboot, Ballmer unlikely to star (TechRadar)
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is continuing on its intergalactic quest for original content for Xbox. That is, if there’s any truth to word that it’s bagged rights to reboot late-70s BBC sci-fi series Blake’s 7 – nabbing it from SyFy, which was originally set to back it. Maybe Steve Ballmer has spotted a perfect break into acting. Maybe it’s not even happening. No one’s offering confirmation just yet, but the plot for the SyFy version went as follows: “The year is 2136, Blake wakes up on one side of the bed. He reaches for the other side. There’s nobody there. As reality sets in, this handsome ex-soldier sits up, and looks at a photo of his wife Rachel. Beautiful. Deceased.”

Microsoft’s First Chip Brings Tank-Finding Design to Xbox (Bloomberg)
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), seeking to fend off competition for its Xbox game console by souping up the Kinect motion sensor, is tapping a new semiconductor developer: itself. For the first time, the company will build its own processors based on an in-house design. The new chips will make Kinect more accurate and responsive using an imaging technology found in military gear, said Cyrus Bamji, who played a key role in developing the silicon architecture. Previously, Kinect relied on an off-the-shelf chip from Israel’s PrimeSense Ltd.

Microsoft accused of fraud in Massachusetts suit (BizJournals)
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been sued in a Massachusetts court for fraud in a class-action lawsuit that alleges the company issued false and misleading statements regarding the sales performance of its slow-selling Surface RT tablet. The Seattle Times reports an investor sued Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) in U.S. District Court in Boston on behalf of investors who bought Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s stock between April 18 and July 18. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares tumbled in July after the company took a $900 million charge on unsold inventory on the Surface RT tablet. The suit alleges that company officials didn’t disclose to investors that “Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s foray into the tablet market was an unmitigated disaster, which left it with a large accumulation of excess, over-valued Surface RT inventory.”

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