No Soft Landing for Microsoft Stock

SAN FRANCISCO (04/04/2000) - If you bought Microsoft Corp. stock exactly a year ago and made the mistake of holding it, this morning's market saw the stock right back where it started: at its buy price. That's hardly the investing result one might expect from this sound tech behemoth, except that the company might not be as sound as once thought.

Indeed, Microsoft stock plunged nearly 14 percent today (dropping $14.25, to $92) following weekend news that the company has failed to reach a settlement in its antitrust case with the government. Investors seemed to spend the day bracing themselves for the final verdict, to be issued by U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson at 5 p.m. EDT.

Although Microsoft's stock has been stagnant for much of the past year, it managed some buoyancy in recent weeks as investors hoped the company would settle the case that threatens its future. But upon word that talks had collapsed, investors fled the stock in droves, making it this morning's most-actively traded share. Analysts have wavered between rating the stock a "hold" or a "buy" though most think that the company remains solid and is not destined for a breakup.

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