Klein, along with Microsoft head of investor relations Bill Koefoed, was in New York this week to present at the Citigroup Technology Conference. He took time during his visit to stop in and chat with many institutional investors in the city. According to Klein's comments at the conference, the dividend issue was front and center in those discussions.
What's more, it appears as though the company's board is seriously considering the issues of an increased dividend, more buybacks and tapping the debt markets when money is so cheaply available.
In my resolution, I suggested strongly that Microsoft double the regular dividend. Klein's comments on this point and other related thoughts are laid out below.
Question: I'm curious about how high a payout ratio pro forma you'd be comfortable with. It could be the thing that really puts focus back on the stock in terms of all these other levers. If the yield is outside, or perceived to be outside, it just will drive the common price up. So, that analysis was, I think, about a 50% payout ratio. And you're around 25% now. So, is there any color you could give us about how comfortable you are in moving toward 50%?