Microsoft possesses footholds in other markets; with assets such as the MSNBC cable television network, the MSN Internet portal, and the Microsoft Encarta multimedia encyclopedia. The company also markets both computer hardware products such as the Microsoft mouse as well as home entertainment products such as the Xbox, Xbox 360 and MSN TV.
When the company debuted its IPO in March 13, 1986, the stock price was US$21 ["Microsoft stock ": 1, 2] By the close of the first trading day, the stock had closed at US$28, equivalent to 9.7 cents when adjusted for the company's first nine splits. ["Microsoft Stock", 2] The initial close and ensuing rise in subsequent years made several Microsoft employees millions.["New York times", 3] The stock price peaked in 1999 at around US$119 (US$60.928 adjusting for splits). ["Microsoft Stock", 2] While the company has had nine stock splits, the first of which was in September 18, 1987, the company did not start offering a dividend until January 16, 2003. ["Microsoft Stock", 2] The dividend for the 2003 fiscal year was eight cents per share, followed by a dividend of sixteen cents per share the subsequent year. ["Microsoft Stock", 2] The company switched from yearly to quarterly dividends in 2005, for eight cents a share per quarter with a special one-time payout of three dollars per share for the second quarter of the fiscal year. ["Microsoft Stock", 2].
Around 2003 the stock price began a slow descent. Despite the company's ninth split on February 2, 2003 and subsequent increases in dividend payouts, the price of Microsoft's stock continues to stagnate as of June 2006. [" Microsoft role", 4].
Microsoft pays a quarterly dividend of $0.10 per share. Beginning in fiscal year 2005, Microsoft shifted from paying an annual dividend to a quarterly dividend. Microsoft paid a special dividend of $3.00 per share to shareholders of record on November 17, 2004. The special dividend payable date was December 2, 2004. The Board will continue to evaluate whether to pay a dividend on a quarterly basis and will base its decisions on the Company's potential future long-term capital requirements relating to research and development, investments and acquisitions, dilution management, and legal and business risks faced by the company.
Products in Pipeline:
The software giant launched Service Pack 1 for Navision 4, a product designed to integrate data from various departments, such as finance, distribution and manufacturing. This edition of Navision is intended to expand the market for its business application and security features to include not only small and midsize busineses but also enterprise customers.Microsoft also introduced a consulting services subsidy for small-business customers in its Open Value licensing program.
Over the last 14 years, Microsoft Research has evolved into an organization with more than 700 researchers studying more than 55 research