Microsoft Goes Cheapo on Earnings Releases (MSFT)

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Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) is expected to report earnings on Thursday after the close.  We had already questioned the company’s ability to reconcile its books because it seems that the earnings release dates are now coming later and later on the calendar each quarter.  Now, the company is doing away with its press release method via earnings releases like just about every other company.  The software giant has announced that, starting with its first-quarter fiscal year 2011 results on October 28, it will post its quarterly earnings on its investor relations Website.

The company will no longer distribute its quarterly financial results via newswire, although in the future it may choose to issue other financial-related news via newswire in addition to the Web site.

Maybe the company thinks that this is a more secure way of distributing earnings releases as it keeps any prying eyes from trying to access the press release.  Maybe the company just wants to save a couple hundred dollars.

Whatever Microsoft’s intent is here, this is just one more method of lower transparency and it may create an information dissemination bottleneck around earnings.  Hopefully, it won’t get too cheeky ahead and say that you can only access company news via Silverlight…

Sometimes companies feel that they can dictate terms to investors and to the media by changing methodologies.  This is one of those instances.

JON C. OGG

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