Microsoft shares soar on ruling

Its stock nears the $100-per-share mark on news that an appeals court overturned an injunction against the software giant.

Tech Industry
Microsoft stock neared the psychological $100-per-share mark on today's news that the U.S. Court of Appeals had overturned an injunction that blocked the software giant from requiring PC makers who use Windows 95 to also use its Internet Explorer Web browser.

Shares in Microsoft jumped on the news, See special coverage: 
Big win for Windowsclimbing 3.6875 to 99.5 to reach a new 52-week high. The stock has traded as low as 59 during the past 52 weeks.

Despite the highly publicized antitrust cases being brought against the software giant, its stock has been resilient.

The stock has risen more than 50 percent this year alone.

Earlier this year, Microsoft's market capitalization surpassed the $200 billion mark, joining General Electric as the only other company in this elite club.

The run-up in Microsoft's stock has been a boon to chief executive Bill Gates, too. His net worth stands at more than $50 billion, making him the world's richest man.

This week, Forbes named Gates as the world's richest man for the fourth year in a row. Microsoft workers who hold stock options also are benefiting.

Microsoft has warned that the rapid earnings growth that is propelling its stock could slow.

But many analysts remain bullish. Last week, for example, Goldman Sachs raised its 1998 earnings on Microsoft to $1.77 per share from $1.75 per share.

Today, Merrill Lynch analyst Jonathan Cohen reiterated his near-term "buy" rating on the software giant, according to Bloomberg.

Netscape shares retreated slightly on the day's news, dropping 0.5 to 26.25.

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