Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is the largest software company in the world and the largest OS. In recent times, Microsoft has tried to diversify its core software revenue base with branching out into other businesses. The company has achieved mixed success in these endeavors with mega-hits like Xbox and failures like Bing. In short, the Internet based ventures have not gone well, but the company has had some success with hardware segments such as Xbox and the recently launched Surface RT/Pro. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) operates in a mature industry, therefore it is understandable that its revenue streams have shown little growth over the last few years.
This is the very reason the stock price of Microsoft has recently hovered in the late twenties. The company has spent hundreds of billions on share buybacks to keep the stock price stable and return shareholder wealth in the process. Due to this price stability, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is considered a pure dividend play with any capital appreciation a bonus. The company has made a number of acquisitions on the Internet advertisement side to boost its ambition. Although these dreams have failed so far, there is still a lot of IP that Microsoft can sell to other prospective buyers.
Best Advertisement Play
The story of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is very different from the software giant Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). The company primarily relies on advertisement revenue and is operating in a booming industry. The consumers have started spending more time in front of the computer screen whether it’s handheld or PC as compared to television. This has increased the value of online advertisement space because the Internet has become an effective tool for advertisement. Facebook primarily competes with the mega-giant Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) in this market. The company is new at the stock block, and its equity has seen much turbulence since it got listed due to shifting perception on its earning potential from handhelds.
In a very short time, the social giant has become the best placed Internet advertisement bet. This is because it has achieved that which has eluded Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) even during its total domination of the Internet advertisement market. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has been able to successfully monetize handheld devices according to its recent earnings report. In an environment where handhelds might totally dominate computing in the near future, this can be a major factor. Even if handhelds are not able to completely dominate the computing industry, it is highly likely that leisure computing would totally shift to handhelds. Even now the number of people using laptops and desktops for anything but serious work is constantly diminishing. This is truer for North America than other countries around the world as the handheld penetration is the highest in this region. This limitation doesn’t alter our thesis because the Internet advertisement industry is the largest in the States and can provide plenty of growth.