Heads Will Roll At Microsoft, Morgan Stanley Shows the Other Banks How It’s Done and, Barbie’s Not Looking Too Fabulous This Quarter

Giving the (pink) slip…

Image courtesy of jscreationzs?FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of jscreationzs?FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Things are looking…well…not so good over at Microsoft, particularly for those working for the Nokia division which Microsoft bought back in April for the not-so-modest sum of $7.2 billion. Over 12,000 head are expected to roll. Another 6,000 Microsoft employees – give or take – will also get pink their slips. And while folks at Microsoft are not too happy, Wall Street actually celebrated the news by sending shares of the company up 3%. CEO Satya Nadella, in his post just five months, announced that the time has come (actually it came awhile ago) for Microsoft to step up its “A” game to compete with Google and Apple. So he wants to help shift things from its mostly software centered business to more online services, apps and devices. A respectable endeavor, no doubt. Nadella is Microsoft’s third CEO and this is the company’s largest round of lay-offs in its 39 year existence.

On top of the world…

Image courtesy of hywards/FreDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of hywards/FreDigitalPhotos.net

Looks like Morgan Stanley’s Chairman and CEO James Gorman doesn’t need to polish his resume. The last of the big banks to announce their earnings this week, Morgan Stanley reported boffo numbers for its second quarter with major props going out to its wealth management and investment banking divisions. Net income rose to $1.86 billion – a 131% increase over last years $803 million. Its clients’ assets exceeded $2 trillion (note the “t”). Its earnings gain was helped by a $609 million tax benefit amd its profit margins for the first time hit 21%. All while rivals Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America posted lower than expected profits. Boohoo.

Toy-ing with earnings…

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Looks like Barbie is not enjoying her fabulous fifties. The iconic buxom blond doll, which turned 55 this year, and its parent company, Mattel, are having a very bad second quarter with a 60% drop in revenue. It might have been worse were it not for Mattel’s Disney Frozen toys and its American Girl products. But Barbie, well she was down 15%. Apparently she’s not as relatable as her Monster High competitiors. Hot Wheels and Fisher-Price brands were also down. Net income for the toy company was $28.3 million – a far far cry from last year’s $73.3 million. But it wasn’t all Barbie’s fault. Mattel’s purchase of MEGA Brands, its attempt at competing with the Lego powerhouse, also put a dent in those figures.

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