CNBC on MSN Money’s StockScouter Celebrates Two-Year Track Record Of Outperforming Standard & Poor’s 500

REDMOND, Wash., July 8, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the two-year anniversary of the StockScouter stock-rating system, featured on the CNBC on MSN®
Money online personal finance service ( ). Since its inception in July 2001, the StockScouter benchmark portfolio* has outperformed the S & P 500 by 56.75 percentage points. Using a quantitative methodology, the popular StockScouter system enables investors to quickly and objectively assess a stock’s potential for outperforming the broader market within a six- to 12-month period.

Microsoft also announced that MSN Money columnist and key StockScouter contributor Jon Markman has won a 2003 Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism in the
“News Services and Online Content”
category. The Loeb Awards, administered by the Anderson School at the University of California at Los Angeles, are considered the most prestigious awards in business journalism and honor those who make significant contributions to the understanding of business, finance and the economy.

CNBC on MSN Money, with its unique combination of award-winning editorial content, powerful tools and services, attracted the largest audience from home to work among financial news and information Web sites in March, April and May, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. Traffic to the site has grown 55 percent from May 2002 to May 2003.

“People are increasingly turning to the Web to gain a better understanding of tough money matters,”
said Chris Jolley, director of product management for the Financial Products Group at Microsoft.
“MSN Money’s educational approach, with its award-winning editorial content and proven tools like the StockScouter, arms consumers with the knowledge to make smarter financial decisions.”

StockScouter was developed in conjunction with Camelback Research Alliance Inc. ( ), an independent research firm at the cutting edge of financial engineering for institutional money managers. The powerful stock-rating tool analyzes and ranks return expectations on approximately 6,000 stocks.

“The StockScouter exemplifies the benefits of a leading technology company and an independent research firm successfully coming together to make online investment research easier and more efficient than ever before,”
said Donn Vickrey, executive vice president at Camelback Research Alliance.
“The fact that the StockScouter benchmark portfolio has regularly outperformed the S & P over the past two years shows that the tool is working — the proof is in the numbers.”

The following are among StockScouter’s results:

  • Over the two-year period from July 2001 to June 2003, the StockScouter benchmark portfolio gained 36.34 percent, while the S & P 500 fell 20.41 percent.

  • From December 2002 through May 2003, the StockScouter benchmark portfolio return rate was 18.68 percent, outperforming the S & P 500, at 4.08 percent.

  • In the 24 months since its launch, the StockScouter benchmark portfolio has had just seven down months, while the S & P 500 has had 13 down months.

StockScouter Rating Criteria

Unlike other stock ratings, StockScouter reveals the
“secret sauce,”
sharing the ingredients behind the rating to help consumers make smarter investment decisions. StockScouter uses the following factors to help derive a rating, providing a useful, objective and educational tool for evaluating stocks:

  • Fundamentals assesses a company’s past earnings growth, its estimated future earnings growth and its capacity to beat brokerage analysts’ consensus estimate.

  • Ownership evaluates whether a stock is under accumulation by executives and board members.

  • Valuation assesses whether a stock’s price is high or low relative to its current level of sales, earnings and expected earnings growth.

  • Technical reviews whether a stock’s price trend is positive or negative.

  • Sector divides stocks into 12 industrial sectors, such as technology or healthcare, by their federal identification code.

  • Market Cap classifies stocks into four market capitalization categories: The top 400 stocks by market cap are large; the next 1,000 are mid; the next 2,500 are small; and the rest, around 2,300 stocks in June 2001, are micro.

  • Style is assessed by the price/sales ratio. High-priced stocks are categorized as part of the growth style of investing, while low-priced stocks are categorized in the value style.

MSN Money columnist Jon Markman supplements this quantitative analysis with commentary about the StockScouter rating. The unique combination of quantitative and expert analysis provides investors with a complete online resource for investment research.

Integration with other award-winning CNBC on MSN Money online personal finance tools such as the Portfolio Manager, Research Wizard and Stock Screener allows consumers to review a wide range of data points when considering new investment ideas. More information about StockScouter can be found at .

About CNBC on MSN Money

CNBC on MSN Money, located exclusively on MSN, combines the award-winning finance tools and content from Microsoft, the worldwide leader in software, with exclusive investment news and analysis from CNBC, the world’s most popular financial cable news network. CNBC on MSN Money empowers people at all levels of experience to easily complete a wide range of financial tasks, such as paying bills, viewing account balances, tracking investments, planning for retirement and staying informed with the latest financial news, in one convenient place online — any time, any place.

Leading industry publications, including Forbes, Money Magazine, PC Magazine and PC World Magazine, consistently applaud the personal finance tools and information from Microsoft. The service is available at or , or by visiting MSN.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

* The StockScouter benchmark portfolio consists of 50 top-rated stocks that are rebalanced monthly. Reported returns are capital gains only; dividends are not included, and transaction costs and taxes are not deducted.

Microsoft and MSN Money have no role in the rating of stocks and accompanying analysis, which is prepared by Camelback Research Alliance Inc. Microsoft and MSN Money are not registered investment advisers and do not advise individuals as to the advisability of investing in, purchasing or selling securities or other financial products.

Microsoft and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft®
Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at .

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