The political and legal environment today is very different than it was in the mid-1970s, as well, although legal guidelines regarding information technology are not well defined. Today, governments around the world are debating whether information sources providing access to the Internet should be censored based on the content of the messages posted on the Internet, and the information superhighway has taken on the status of being important to national security as well as to the productivity of millions of employees. Against this backdrop of computer software as big business Microsoft now competes; this is the environment which Microsoft has itself fostered.
However, Microsoft's contribution to the computer environment was not accomplished without reaping substantial benefit of its own. The company's stock has performed well recently, although it remains priced well out of the range of many casual investors. The following chart illustrates the stock's performance from September through October 1996:
While there has been some movement in the stock during this two-month period, the stock has most recently remained steady between 130 and 140. The company does not pay dividends on its common stock, and price appreciation is the way in which investors must evaluate this investment vehicle.
The company's revenues have increased steadily during the early 1990s, posting gains of more than 20 percent per year from 1993 to 1996; equally impressive is the company's ability to translate those gains into profit since, during each of those years, the company's profit increased at approximately the same rate as revenues. Revenues and profitability were particularly impressive for 1996, when revenues increased more than 46 percent over 1995, and profits increased more than 51 percent over the previous year (Microsoft's fiscal year ends in June). The company has a strong current ratio of 3.23:1, and a quick ratio (which deducts inventory ...
Bill Gates & Paul Allen of Microsoft: Business Principles. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 17:40, August 24, 2016, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1303383556.html