When you're public the public expects eternal growth or they abandon you, you get bought up and sold for pennies on the dollar...
Essentially what happened with Dell Inc here (just MSDell is looting the company), minus the other half of your sentence. Assuming Dell's situation is as precarious as the prostit- err "professional directors" of the board claim, perhaps the debt load to fund the buyout could bankrupt them (especially if economy -- corporate/government spending especially -- dives) and maybe we would see the other half yet, but doubtful. He has an inside seat and is laughing to the bank on pulling a steal versus him having previously authorized share buybacks when the stock was double, triple, even nearly quadruple the current amount. Yeah, poor decisions as a public company indeed.
> It should be obvious that the money didn't come from Microsoft. It came from the NSA. > They wanted to wiretap all Skype conversations. They got Microsoft to buy it for that end.
Why would NSA pay Microsoft, a US company $8.5billions to buy Skype from eBay, another US company?
Actually Skype was domiciled in Luxembourg if I recall correctly and at the time of purchase, an article indicated that, had they been a US corporation, Microsoft might have had to offer $2 billion less (to be equivalent) due to the huge tax "penalty" of having to repatriate so much money on to US shores. Oh well, such stupid purchases probably make more sense in a near-zero interest rate borrowing environment for AAA-rated corporate credits, as much lower hurdle needed to swing it financially if it isn't being called a "strategic" acquisition.
Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.