Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is expected to announce the market
release of Office 365, a web-based productivity software product,
tomorrow at an event in New York. Office 365′s beta version was
launched in the autumn of 2010, and the release signals a symbolic
shift away from the traditional way of selling software to cloud
computing. For the forecast of the day, we look at Wal-Mart's
(NYSE:WMT) international ambitions. The company recently received
approval for its acquisition of South African retailer Massmart and
looks to expand more aggressively into Africa with the hope of
imitating its success in Latin America. Finally we test readers'
knowledge on Best Buy's (
) international presence below.
Company of the Day - Microsoft
Microsoft Office 365 is a clear move by the company to establish
itself in the cloud-computing market. This can be viewed as a
defensive move as competitors like Google (NASDAQ:GOOG),
) and Amazon (
) have rolled out cloud platforms well ahead of Microsoft. At the
same time, IDC indicate that software-oriented services will
account for roughly three-quarters of all spending in public cloud
services by 2015 indicating that this move could also be viewed as
a proactive move on the software giant's part.
Office is the most valuable business for Microsoft and accounts
for more than 30% of our
$27 price estimate for Microsoft stock
See our full analysis
Forecast of the Day - Wal-Mart's International Store
The retail leader is looking to aggressively expand overseas,
including a push into Africa with its recent Massmart acquisition.
The company hopes to replicate LatAm's success in the African
continent. Massmart runs nine wholesale and retail chains with
approximately 288 stores in 14 African countries.
Wal-Mart believes that South Africa is a key market for
growth and it accounts for roughly 20% of consumer spending on the
African continent. Africa could act as a crucial base for Wal-Mart
to target other local countries in the region. Countries like
Nigeria are gaining greater appeal due to rising affluence levels
and increasing size of the middle class across Africa.
Wal-Mart also recently bought a stake in Yihaodian, a
fast-growing online retailer of groceries, consumer electronics and
apparels. Yihaodian operates next-day delivery service for
essential daily goods at competitive prices. It has 2,000 employees
and over 75,000 Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) with its logistics
network bases located in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
See our full analysis
What percent of Best Buy's value is generated by non-US
See the quiz on our