Needham cuts Yahoo to Hold on Verizon deal concerns

|By:, SA News Editor

Needham has cut Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) to Hold with talk in the air of Verizon (VZ -0.4%) potentially walking away from its deal to buy the Internet business, or getting a lower deal price.

But valuation also plays a part as the firm reduces its rating to Hold from Buy, as does Yahoo's cancellation of its Q3 earnings call, which "also troubles us." Yahoo's up 1.5% today to $42.40, above Needham's $40 price target.

Last week, Verizon's general counsel was quoted as saying there was a "reasonable basis" to think that the massive 500M-account data breach at Yahoo would prove material to Verizon's $4.83B deal to acquire it.

Yesterday, Credit Suisse set a price target of $52 on Yahoo shares (implying 23% upside), and MKM Partners boosted its price target to $51 from $44.

Yahoo reports after the bell today, but won't hold a conference call because, it says, of the pending acquisition.