RealTime IT News

Analysts Mixed on Gates Departure

Wall Street's response to news of the departure of Bill Gates from Microsoft was largely muted on Friday.

The company's stock was little changed on the day, reflecting analysts' view that the change presents both peril and opportunity.

Analysts at the likes of Citigroup and Goldman Sachs said Microsoft is well prepared for an orderly transition. Citigroup's Brent Thill said the change could give a new generation of leaders at the software giant a chance to step forward.

Microsoft shares took their biggest hit in years in April after the company announced ambitious spending plans that will reduce earnings next year. The stock has been stuck near the bottom of a multi-year trading range.

Oracle , meanwhile, rose 3.6% after the company said it expects to report earnings of 29 cents a share, 2 cents ahead of estimates, on sales of $4.85 billion, beating $4.55 billion forecasts. The company cited much stronger than expected license sales. Oracle will release full results next week.

The broader market finished lower Friday, as traders digested one of the strongest two-day gains of recent years.

The Nasdaq lost 14 to 2130, the S&P 500 fell 4 to 1255, and the Dow finished fractionally lower at 11,014. Volume rose to 2.78 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.51 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 20-11 on the NYSE, and 20-10 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 69% on the NYSE, and 67% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 25-102 on the NYSE, and 53-88 on the Nasdaq.

Adobe edged higher after beating estimates but lowering guidance.

Nortel added 3% on a Bernstein upgrade.

California Micro tumbled 25% on its outlook, and Omnivision lost 12% on its results.