How to get more cash flow

A better-than-expected return for its shares could prompt a return to dividend-paying status, but that may be too late for a company whose shares have dropped more than 70% over the past two years.

Investors have lost faith in the value of Microsoft Corp. stock, which has lost more than 80% of its value since mid-2014.

Shares fell 3.3% on Tuesday to $22.50.

The company has been trying to fend off a downturn in the broader tech industry and a weaker dollar, and has made some progress on those fronts.

However, it is still down nearly 30% in 2016 compared with the same period last year.

“We haven’t gotten any better in the markets and there’s no sign that we will,” said Chris Jost, an analyst at Sterne Agee Securities LLC in San Francisco.

The outlook is also bleak for the company’s other investments.

The Windows maker’s stock fell 3% to $23.90 a share on Tuesday.

Shares of Inc. fell 3%, to $38.30, after the online retail giant said it will stop offering its Kindle tablets, which Microsoft’s Surface laptop and Xbox gaming consoles use to stream games and other content.

Microsoft’s cloud services business has also suffered from the recession, with some investors concerned that the company will struggle to provide a revenue stream.

“It is a difficult and uncertain time for Microsoft,” said Jim Mather, an investment analyst at J.P. Morgan Securities.

“But the stock is still well worth buying.”