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SoundView Keeps 'Neutral' Rating on Microsoft

Late Friday, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly approved most provisions of the antitrust settlement with Microsoft (MSFT).

SoundView kept its neutral rating on the software giant on the news. Analyst Mark Specker says the better than expected ruling raises the likelihood that the current antitrust proceedings may wind down more quickly than expected, and may lift at least one large cloud of legal uncertainty. He noted that Microsoft has previously implemented or has begun to implement most of the terms of settlement, and he expects no significant changes or impact to Microsoft's business.

Specker expects some short-term strength in the stock as some risk and uncertainty may be removed sooner than expected. However, he noted other issues remain, including calendar year 2003 growth and other legal proceedings.

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