Microsoft Corp.'s announcement to sell shares of common stock to the general public was rich with detail. Its success, and ultimate rewards, appear to be greater than imagined.
Microsoft Corp.’s announcement to sell shares of common stock to the general public was rich with detail. Its success, and ultimate rewards, appear to be greater than imagined.
The company’s co-founders, 30-year-old Bill Gates and 33-year-old Paul Allen, who has left to form a new company, will be millionaires many times over, at least on paper.
If the share price is set at $16, the anticipated lower end of the spectrum, Gates will receive $1.28 million from the offering and the rest of his holdings will have a value of $178.3 million. He will retain 44.9 percent of the ownership of Microsoft. Allen will receive $2.16 million and have holdings worth $100.1 million, or 25.2 percent.
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If the price is $19, Gates will get $1.52 million and hold $211.7 million worth of stock. Allen would get $2.57 million and hold $118.8 million in stock.
Underwriters of the stock offering are the investment firms of Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Alex. Brown & Sons.
Jon Shirley, Microsoft president, received $228,000 in 1985. Gates, as chairman and chief executive, received $133,000. Francis Gaudette, vice president for finance and administration, received $109,000. William Rolland, vice president and general manager of peripherals and hardware development, received $96,000. Rolland resigned, effective this month.
The stock for sale amounts to only a small fraction of the total shares. Various present and former company officers and Technology Venture Investors, a Menlo Park, Calif., group, will hold nearly 90 percent of the 24.7 million shares that will exist after the 2.5 million shares are sold.
Together, the company would be worth between $395 million and $470 million _ as much as $100 million more than some had speculated.
But Microsoft is doing even better than outsiders speculated. It was thought it made about $21 million last year. The official filing with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission shows that calendar-year profits totaled $31.16 million, or $1.33 a share.
Microsoft has been recording figures on a fiscal-year basis ending June 30 of each year. For the years ended in June 1981 through 1985, the company showed a profit progression of $3.5 million, $6.5 million, $15.9 million and $24.1 million.
Sales advanced in concert with profits. For the calendar year 1985, sales were $162.6 million. For the June years 1981 through 1985, sales were $24.5 million, $50.1 million, $97.5 million and $140.4 million.
Microsoft, begun 11 years ago by Gates and Allen, is recognized as one of three national leaders in designing software _ the internal programs that tell a computer what to do. Its competitors, Lotus Development and Ashton-Tate, already are publicly owned companies.
Microsoft is pricing itself at a premium to those two. Its market value is 2.4 to 2.9 times sales. Lotus is 1.7 and Ashton-Tate 1.3. Microsoft’s price-to-earnings ratio would be 12 to 14.3 times 1985’s profits. Lotus is at 9.8 and Ashton-Tate is at 12.
But Microsoft obviously feels it can command a premium. Its profit margin is 19 percent. Lotus’s is 17 and Ashton-Tate’s is 13. Microsoft has no long-term debt. Neither does Lotus. Ashton-Tate has a small amount.
The official filing also discloses that a Japanese computer designer who resigned as a Microsoft director is not expected to repay $509,850 that he owes Microsoft. Kazuhiko Nishi, who also was vice president for new-product development at Microsoft, was a principal in ASCII, a company that handled Microsoft sales in Japan.
Microsoft said it is ending that relationship with ASCII, raising questions about the company’s course in a country in which it collected 12 percent of Microsoft’s sales in the last fiscal year. The company said it will start up a new Japanese operation, which could be costly and disrupt current activities.
Microsoft at a glance
Offering: 2.5 million shares.
Price: $16 to $19 a share.
When: Early March.
Business: Computer programs.
1985 sales: $162.6 million.
1985 profits: $31.16 million.