Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is just another word for software. The Windows operating system and the Office products suite it spawned remain the most ubiquitous software products in the world, despite the best efforts of the rest of the planet to get people and businesses to adopt a different platform.
Microsoft also has the country’s No. 2 Internet search engine, Bing, and has moved into cloud-based computing services with the Windows Live Essentials suite. With other efforts aimed at phones, video games and online advertising, there is virtually no sandbox in which Microsoft doesn’t play.
With a $244 billion valuation, Microsoft is the third-largest company in the U.S. by market capitalization. It boasts a 32% profit margin, 38% return on equity, $58 billion in cash and $30 billion in operating cash flow, all built on a measly $13 billion in debt.
MSFT is a little slow in doling out some of that lucre to shareholders in the form of dividends, but give the company credit for at least increasing the payout steadily — and appreciate your 2.7% yield.