February 28, 2008 / 6:35 AM / 12 years ago

UPDATE 1-RESEARCH ALERT-Bear Stearns cuts Microsoft Q3 shr view

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Feb 28 (Reuters) - Bear Stearns cut its third-quarter and fiscal 2008 GAAP earnings per share estimate on Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) after the European Commission fined the company a record 899 million euros ($1.35 billion) for failure to comply with antitrust sanctions.

The brokerage cuts its third-quarter GAAP earnings estimate on the software giant to 30 cents a share from 45 cents, while lowering its 2008 GAAP earnings per share estimate to $1.73 from $1.87.

Microsoft was fined for using high prices to discourage software competition in the latest sanction in their long-running battle with the European Commission. The company defied a 2004 order from Brussels to provide the information on reasonable terms, the Commission, executive arm of the European Union said.

“We believe the EU is unlikely to levy further fines relative to this issue as they declared MSFT has been in compliance since Oct 22, 2007,” Bear Stearns said and continued to rate the stock “peer perform.” (Reporting by Neha Singh in Bangalore; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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