Microsoft shareholders still waiting for payout

The software giant continues to refuse to pay dividends out of its cash pile - angering shareholders who have seen the value of the stock they hold go down

Microsoft has dashed shareholder hopes of a dividend payout after saying it will sit on its $40.5bn war chest until the threat of further litigation passes.

Despite securing a victory of sorts in its antitrust case last week, Microsoft shareholders will have to wait a little longer until they get their hands on the company's money.

At an annual meeting in Bellevue, Washington, shareholders asked if the company plans to pay out its first ever dividend since going public in 1986. After the resolution of years of uncertainty over the status of the company's future, and having accrued cash holdings of $40.5bn, they probably thought they had picked their moment.

But John Connors, chief financial officer of Microsoft, told the shareholders: "While the ruling on Friday was a positive, we still face some significant legal issues, and in light of those legal issues to date the board has determined it would not be appropriate to commit to a long-term programme like a dividend until that's cleared."

In the past Microsoft shareholder have by-and-large been happy to sit on shares which continued to rise in value, but this year Microsoft stock has fallen 15 percent, leading to the calls for a dividend.

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