Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Steve Ballmer told shareholders Wednesday that the software behemoth measures its success by its products, not its share price.
“We have never really used the stock market itself as a barometer of our success,” Ballmer said at the Redmond company’s annual shareholder meeting in Bellevue, a Seattle suburb.
Microsoft shares have been trading at about the same level for several years.
In the past 52 weeks, shares have traded between $23.82 and $30.20. Shares were up 4 cents at $27.09 in midday trading Wednesday on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
That generally isn’t what shareholders want to hear, but then Microsoft isn’t the usual company. As far as the products go:
Analysts say the concern is that the increasing number of Internet-based offerings, especially those that are free and ad-supported, will make people less likely to buy new versions of Windows and Office, Microsoft’s cash cows.
I suppose it’s never too early to worry about cannibalizing your own market, but the other side is that if Microsoft doesn’t do it, someone else may.
Update: Todd Bishop has some firsthand shareholder reaction.