Is Mr. Softy trying to stock up its bomb shelter when it's already full?

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) turned heads when it moved to sell $3.75 billion in corporate bonds. The world's largest software company doesn't need the money: It had $25.3 billion in cash and short-term investments as of the end of March.

Sure, this is a great time to raise money, given the rock-bottom rates. However, if the company is simply going to let the proceeds sit pretty on its balance sheet, dirt-cheap interest rates cut both ways.

Microsoft is going to have to do more with that money than simply collect lower interest than it is paying out on the money. It doesn't make sense. It certainly doesn't make cents. The company isn't perfect, but it certainly isn't stupid.

A massive share buyback or a wild shopping spree should be the two resting places for the greenery that Microsoft is hoping to stack on top of its already-padded coffers. Anything less would be insulting to both shareholders and simple math.

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped the week.

  • Only a handful of companies went public over the past year, so it was surprising to see market newcomers Rackspace Hosting (NYSE:RAX) and Rosetta Stone (NYSE:RST) report quarterly earnings on the same day. Rackspace and Rosetta cleaned up nicely, posting healthy profitability on 21% and 41% revenue growth, respectively.
  • Sticking to the theme of double doses of related earnings, travel portals Priceline.com (NASDAQ:PCLN) and Ctrip.com (NASDAQ:CTRP) also reported their quarterly results on the same day. It may seem like a scary time for travel-related sites, what with the global recession and the swine flu. However, both companies are doing just fine, apparently. Priceline and Ctrip topped Wall Street's profit targets.
  • Then again, even some of the losers are starting to smell like winners. Shares of Fossil (NASDAQ:FOSL) took off after the company posted a 43% slide in net income. The reason for the rise is that as bad as a 43% decrease on the bottom line sounds, Wall Street was braced for an even deeper fall.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Priceline.com is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Microsoft is an Inside Value recommendation. Ctrip.com and Fossil are Motley Fool Hidden Gems selections. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look back. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.