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Here's Why Nuance and Take-Two Shares are Tumbling

By Sam Mattera - Nov 26, 2013 at 10:20AM

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Nuance, Take-Two, and Microsoft fell early on Tuesday, despite a slight rally in the Dow Jones.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 2.68%) was up slightly, rising 20 points as of 11:30 a.m. EST. The gain comes in spite of disappointing consumer confidence -- a reading of 70.4 was less than the 72.9 economists had expected.

Some tech stocks were also disappointing investors. Dow component Microsoft (MSFT 3.42%) fell slightly, while Nuance Communications (NUAN) was absolutely crushed, dropping more than 14%. Video game maker Take-Two Interactive (TTWO 2.75%) shed more than 4%.

Microsoft's Xbox One sells out at launch
Microsoft shares were down just about 0.30% in the wake of the company's latest console release. The Xbox One went on sale last Friday, and has already sold more than 1 million units. Most retailers are now sold out of Microsoft's console, though they may get more shipments ahead of the holidays.

The Xbox One looks like an early success, but that might not matter for much longer. With Steve Ballmer set to retire, Microsoft is looking for a new CEO, and could announce the company's next leader early in December. If it's former Nokia chief Stephen Elop, the Xbox could soon be separated from Microsoft -- according to Bloomberg, Elop would consider selling or spinning off the division.

Nuance guidance 
As opposed to Microsoft's measured move, shares of Nuance Communications were absolutely eviscerated early Tuesday following the company's earnings report.

While its earnings results were roughly in line with what analysts had anticipated, Nuance is forecasting a terrible quarter. The company now sees earning of $0.18-0.21 per share; analysts had expected Nuance to report earnings of $0.31. Full-year guidance was also worse than anticipated, as Nuance now expects to earn $1.05-1.15 per share; analysts had been looking for $1.41 per share. 

Nuance's management cited a shift to a subscription-based business model as the reason for the disappointment, claiming that the near-term revenue hit would eventually be offset by the advantages of reoccurring, regular revenue.

Take-Two buys out hedge-fund giant 
Video game publisher Take-Two is also having a rough morning, down more than 4% following reports that it repurchased its shares from hedge-fund giant Carl Icahn. Three board directors, who had been serving Icahn's interests, resigned in the wake of the sale.

While Icahn may have sold for many reasons, his exiting the stock could be a sign that the investment legend believes shares have peaked. Even factoring in Tuesday's loss, shares are still up nearly 50% this year. Take-Two's Grand Theft Auto 5, released in September, has been a smashing success,  selling nearly 30 million copies to date.

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Stocks Mentioned

Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
$31,500.68 (2.68%) $823.32
Microsoft Corporation Stock Quote
Microsoft Corporation
$267.70 (3.42%) $8.84
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Stock Quote
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.
$133.62 (2.75%) $3.57
Nuance Communications, Inc. Stock Quote
Nuance Communications, Inc.

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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