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Microsoft Dumps Comcast Stock

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) sold off its 7.3 percent stake in Comcast (NASDAQ: CMSCA), according to information from a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
Microsoft held nearly 151 million, non-voting Class A shares of the cable operator as of last March. Microsoft bought into Comcast seven years ago when the cable operator absorbed AT&T’s broadband division. Philadelphia-based Comcast Class A shares are trading at around $15. The stock got a slight boost when the news circulated Friday, climbing as high as $15.45.

Additional reports (PC World, Reuters) indicate that Microsoft may cut jobs this week. The Redmond, Wash., PC concern employs around 91,000 people. There have been small cuts over the last seven years, PC World, says, but the company has never implemented sweeping layoffs in 34 years of operation. Shares of the company opened this morning at around $19.50 and fell quickly to $19, reflecting a larger slip across the big boards as a new president is about to be sworn in to the office.

Microsoft’s forays into traditional television have yielded mixed results. The company abandoned its Ultimate TV business in 2002. AT&T’s U-Verse IPTV service meanwhile is based on the Microsoft Mediaroom platform. It has about 2 million subscribers. It’s also integrating the platform into its Xboxes, having announced the initiative a year ago. The company’s Silverlight online video technology got props from the incoming Obama Administration. The Flash contender was selected by the Presidential Inaugural Committee to stream live and on-demand coverage of the swearing-in ceremony today