Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates, the heads of Microsoft, confirmed they are selling over a billion dollars each of Microsoft stock. A sale of 75 million shares is not a year-end tax planning strategy. It’s a tacit admission that he doesn’t believe in the dream anymore. I’m not too cynical, but when Steve-o makes statements like this, it makes me throw up a little in my mouth – “I want to be clear about this to avoid any confusion. I am excited about our new products and the potential for our technology to change people’s lives, and I remain fully committed to Microsoft and its success.” His timing is even more questionable with the launch of Kinetic and Windows 7. Well why would you sell now Steve? I charted MSFT against the PC Sales lever over the past few years, and it made things quite clear:
These guys see where PC sales are going, and also see how highly correlated Microsoft’s stock price is to that lever. That downward trajectory is unequivocal, and Ballmer’s advisors probably saw the same chart. So now you have it. Would you go long MSFT when the guys with the most at stake are selling billions of dollars worth of stock? Would you walk into a burning building as the building owners are running out?