What To Expect From Microsoft Corporation's Earnings

Breaking down the key numbers and story lines investors need to watch when Microsoft reports its numbers after the bell.

Jan 23, 2014 at 1:45PM

After years of languishing, shares of software giant Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) are riding high once again after essentially matching the Nasdaq's overall rise in 2013.

Microsoft is set to unveil its final quarterly earnings report of the 2013 calendar year after the bell today. What should investors be on the lookout for?

Meandering Microsoft
Although things have certainly improved in the wake of CEO Steve Ballmer's corporate reorganization last year, Microsoft still has a long way to go in order to compete on the next great computing platform: mobile.

Analyst's expectations in some ways reflect this notion. On average, analysts are calling for shrinking profits to be a sad reality of Microsoft's earnings. 

However, Microsoft faces other key issues it must navigate in order to tap into its massive potential. The real key in all this is Microsoft's ongoing hunt to find a replacement for Steve Ballmer. Rumors have spread like wildfire regarding Microsoft's heir apparent. But with the eventual successor being the one that will craft Microsoft's future strategic pushes, the company remains in a limbo of sorts.

In the video below, tech and telecom analyst Andrew Tonner looks at some of the key numbers and storylines that investors should have on their radar when Microsoft reports later today.

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Fool contributor Andrew Tonner has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Google. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:


Everything else is details. 

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