Today we are watching…
1. Microsoft (#msft)
Drinks on Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella! He just got a whopping 66% pay rise. Most of his bonus came from stock rewards. Microsoft shares have ridden the bull market, and now it’s a trillion-dollar company, so we’ll see what his salary looks like when the economy turns. Tech stocks are very cyclical. It could be argued that without Nadella’s hundreds of millions in outgoings, Microsoft shares would trade higher today. That’s true, kind of. However, Nadella has expertly filled some big shoes. Unafraid to rock the boat that Balmer and Gates captained for so long, he’s turned Microsoft into a cloud computing success. Without his leadership, Microsoft stock might not be so healthy today anyway.
2. Coca-Cola (#coke)
Analysts may have Coca-Cola down as overweight by investors, but the company is keen to deliver a hefty dividend again to its shareholders as a new drink is brewed up. Coca-Cola Energy has already been released in some countries, and it’s proving a big challenger. Customers pay something in-between the price of a Red Bull and a Monster for 114 milligrams of caffeine per 12 ounce serving. It may still be a new entrant to the space, but as Credit Suisse says, “the picture of success will be placement in an energy cooler next to a Red Bull.” The company won’t buckle to calls for it to go healthy, nor confess to the end of its growth phase. So, as a result, Wall Street will judge its quarterly earnings today against an ambitious $0.56 on $9.48 billion in earnings.