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Why Microsoft (MSFT) Won't Have a New CEO This Year

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Microsoft  (MSFT - Get Report) likely won't have a new CEO until sometime in early 2014, board of directors member John Thompson said in a blog post.

Thompson, who is the head of the search committee for a new CEO, said he is "pleased with our progress" so far. He noted, however, that he doesn't expect finish the search until "the early part of 2014."

The search committee started with over 100 candidates for the position of Microsoft CEO and talked to several dozen of those people. From there the team narrowed the search down to just 20 people. The committee researched and investigated those 20 candidates, and is still in the process of deciding who is best suited for the job.

Potential candidates may include current Ford (F) CEO Alan Mullaly and former Nokia (NOK) CEO Stephen Elop.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Microsoft as a "Buy" with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate MICROSOFT CORP (MSFT) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • MSFT's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 6.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • MSFT's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.20 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 2.65, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Software industry and the overall market, MICROSOFT CORP's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 36.63% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, MSFT should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.

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