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A Microsoft Earnings Shakeup?

Changes could be afoot at Microsoft, which reports quarterly earnings after the bell Thursday, Nomura's Rick Sherlund said on CNBC.

"Well, I think it's more of a realignment than a major restructuring," he said Wednesday. "Some investors, I think, are anticipating more. I think they're anticipating cost-cutting moves. I don't think that's primarily what this is about."

On "Fast Money," Sherlund said that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had articulated a focus on services and strategy.

"I think this is more about aligning people and organizations to focus on delivering those," he added.

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Sherlund held a "neutral" rating on Microsoft stock and a price target of $38 per share.

While Sherlund said that he didn't expect drastic cuts at the software company, activist shareholders could launch a proxy contest for a seat on Microsoft's board of directors.

Such initiatives such as leveraging the company's $66 billion in cash offshore could be presented, he added, with an argument such as, "Let's borrow against it. You could buy back 22 percent of the stock."

Increasing the dividend to shareholders could be another initiative that could draw support from Institutional Shareholder Services, Sherlund added.

"There are other things," he said.

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"I'm not sure how far they want to go, how much glass they want to break, sort of, right now to offend management. Probably enough to convince ISS that they deserve a board seat."

Trader disclosure: On July 10, 2013, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC's "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Dan Nathan is short BBRY Jan 12/10 call spread; Dan Nathan is long TLT July 110/115/120 call spread; Dan Nathan is long FB July/Aug 25 put spread; Dan Nathan is long XLF July 19/18 put spread; Dan Nathan is long ZNGA; Dan Nathan is long Aug 100/95/90 put fly; Karen Finerman is long AAPL; Karen Finerman is long BAC; Karen Finerman is long C; Karen Finerman is long JPM; Karen Finerman is long TGT; Karen Finerman is long GOOG; Karen Finerman is long GM; Karen Finerman is long M; Karen Finerman is long SPY; Karen Finerman is long MDY PUTS; Guy Adami is long C; Guy Adami is long GS; Guy Adami is long INTC; Guy Adami is long MSFT; Guy Adami is long AGU; Guy Adami is long NUE; Guy Adami is long BTU; Guy Adami's wife, Linda Snow, works at Merck.

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