The Daily Digit today is $42.35 billion.

That's how much Microsoft is giving back to investors.

It breaks down to a $40-billion buyback and $2.35-billion, or a 28-cent-per-share quarterly dividend.

Analysts say the kickback reflects the growing influence of activist shareholder ValueAct, which has been pushing for a return of capital to investors. Also, with more than $77 billion in cash on Microsoft's balance sheet, it is a logical step to try and up the share price.

This is key given all the big changes at the company.

Microsoft's CEO, Steve Ballmer, is retiring, but no one knows who is going to succeed him.

And the tech giant is trying to get more footing in the mobile phone business by buying Nokia.

Even more, Microsoft is also attempting to transform itself into a devices and services conglomerate.

There are a lot of question marks, but Microsoft may set the record straight during a meeting with analysts on Thursday.


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