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Premature prediction? Anyways, the suck... er... investors seem to be buying

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The latest news from Rosswell is first, that "influential" Goldman Sachs analyst Rick Sherlund today said the onset of a quiet period in the trial may allow Microsoft stock to recover lost ground, and second, that the stock price promptly kicked upwards. Consequently we at The Register have started idly musing about the viability of something called, say, goldfish.com* as a source of stock tips.

Difficulty number one with Rick's pronouncements is surely that we're not quite at the quiet news period. Microsoft itself ostensibly believes that the judge could pull the trigger today or tomorrow, while our very own Graham Lea, whenever we take out the gag and remove the straightjacket, is fixed on somewhere around 22 June for the next dose of bad news.

Sure, nothing bad will actually happen to Microsoft immediately after the judge speaks, but that was the case after the mediation talks broke down as well, yet the stock nosedived the following Monday. Which brings us to difficulty number two. Immediately prior to the collapse of the mediation, one Rick Sherlund of Gold in Sacks, after a Microsoft analyst briefing, made confident noises about the talks' prospects of success. And the stock price kicked up, swiftly followed by Judge Posner's 1 April Saturday afternoon massacre.

Since then Rick has downgraded Microsoft, and warned that a breakup could hurt the stock. But now he has the stock rated at outperform, although he says the company's business is still sluggish. Well, we'll see about that - but what do we know? ®

*Unfortunately, goldfish.com is already a dull credit card site. So is carp.com, which when you think about it is even better for an investor site with attitude. Owned by some fishing outfit in Georgia that isn't even using it...

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