Wed, Nov. 25, 2:03 AM
- Standard & Poor's has lowered its unsolicited rating outlook on Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) to negative from stable, citing prospects for poor revenue growth, management instability and higher costs for acquiring traffic.
- "We could lower our rating on Yahoo if the company's competitiveness in its display or search advertising businesses continues to decline and it is not able to reverse the negative operating trends affecting EBITDA," S&P said in a statement.
- For the three and a half years Marissa Meyer has led the company, revenues are down about 10%, EBITDA is down 45%, and 13 top executives have left the firm this year alone.
Thu, Nov. 19, 1:56 AM
- Activist investor Starboard Value is putting new pressure on Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), calling on the company to halt the more than $20B spinoff of its stake in Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) and instead sell its beleaguered Internet business, WSJ reports.
- The change in Starboard's position follows the federal government's decision not to rule on whether the Alibaba spinoff would incur billions of dollars in taxes, a move the investor now feels "carries too much risk."
Wed, Nov. 18, 4:42 AM
- New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has included Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) in his investigation into the multibillion-dollar daily fantasy sports industry, Reuters and the NYT report, and has issued the company with a subpoena.
- Yesterday, Schneiderman filed for a temporary injunction to shut down industry leaders DraftKings and FanDuel, arguing that they facilitate illegal gambling.
- While Yahoo, which has been fast catching up to DraftKings and FanDuel, wouldn't comment on the subpoena, it said on its site that it was continuing to take bets from New Yorkers.
Mon, Nov. 9, 2:40 PM
- Re/code's Kara Swisher reports consulting giant McKinsey has been hired by Yahoo (YHOO -2%) to "help the company decide which units to shutter, which to sell and which to invest more in."
- Swisher adds Marissa Mayer has "over the last month asked her top execs to make three- to five-year commitments to Yahoo," and told execs in late August and early September they had to promise to remain either verbally or in writing. Since then, several execs, such as chief development officer Jackie Reses (left for Square) and media/marketing chief Kathy Savitt (left for studio STX Entertainment) have departed. Two others reporting directly to Mayer are said to be expected to leave soon.
- Yahoo is coming off a Q3 in which its display ad revenue rose just 2% Y/Y, and its search click-driven revenue (excludes Microsoft payments) rose 3%. The company is hoping an integrated mobile search/virtual assistant solution codenamed Project Index (will compete against Google Now, Siri, and Cortana/Bing) will help improve its fortunes. Swisher's sources state Index (expected to launch in 2015) could be delayed.
Fri, Nov. 6, 1:38 PM
- Alibaba is down 3.9% after fund manager Jim Chanos recommended shorting the stock (perceived accounting issues were brought up), and going long JD.com as a hedge.
- Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), which has followed Alibaba higher in recent weeks (aided by Alibaba's FQ2 beat), is naturally lower in response. The company's 384M-share Alibaba stake has a pre-tax value of $31.5B.
Tue, Oct. 27, 9:22 AM
- Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) has risen to $35.20 premarket after Alibaba (BABA - up 8%) beat FQ2 estimates with the help of a 12 bps Y/Y increase in Chinese marketplace monetization/take rate (contrasts with FQ1's 19 bps decline) to 2.42%.
- The trigger: Mobile monetization rate (up 52 bps Y/Y to 2.39%) is now nearly even with Alibaba's total monetziation rate, helping mobile grow to 61% of marketplace revenue from 51% in FQ1 and just 29% a year ago. Mobile monthly active users rose 13% Q/Q and 59% Y/Y to 346M, and total annual active buyers 5% Q/Q and 26% Y/Y to 386M.
- Alibaba's China marketplace GMV growth slowed to 28% Y/Y from FQ1's 34% and FQ4's 40%. Total China commerce revenue rose 35% to $2.88B, international commerce rose 14% to $289M, and cloud computing/Internet infrastructure rose 128% to $102M. EBITDA margin was flat at 50%, and free cash flow rose 52% to $2.14B (above net income of $1.46B).
- Not counting any potential tax payments, Yahoo's 384M-share Alibaba stake is now worth $31.6B.
Tue, Oct. 27, 9:17 AM
Tue, Oct. 27, 3:26 AM
- The results are in: The NFL's streaming experiment with Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) on Sunday drew far fewer viewers than a typical top-rated national broadcast.
- The Web portal attracted 15.2M unique viewers in a game between the Jaguars and Bills, although the matchup was broadcast on television in the teams' local markets, which might have limited Yahoo viewership.
- By comparison, NBC's Sunday Night Football program averaged 24.1M viewers through its first seven telecasts this season.
- Previously: Yahoo, NFL make live-stream history (Oct. 25 2015)
Sun, Oct. 25, 10:38 AM
- Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) is in the middle of live-streaming today's Jaguars-Bills matchup for free, marking the first NFL game to be available primarily over the Internet.
- The move is symbolically significant for the NFL, which wants to start experimenting with digital distribution, and likewise for Yahoo, which has become very interested in Web video under CEO Marissa Mayer.
- According to people familiar with the agreement, Yahoo paid $20M for the rights to the game.
- Link to the stream
Tue, Oct. 20, 6:24 PM
- Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) has once more guided light in its earnings slides (.pdf): It expects Q4 GAAP revenue of $1.16B-$1.2B, below a $1.33B consensus. Ex-TAC revenue is expected to drop to $920M-$960M from Q4 2014's $1.18B, and op. income to just $10M-$50M from Q4 2014's $256M and Q4 2013's $330M.
- With its top line still under pressure, Yahoo is cutting costs. Marissa Mayer: "As we move into 2016, we will work to narrow our strategy, focusing on fewer products with higher quality..." CFO Ken Goldman: "This quarter we've reduced spending in areas such as workforce, facilities and discretionary expenses, and in our ongoing efforts to control expenses, we'll continue to focus our headcount on growth initiatives." Non-GAAP operating expenses fell 3% Y/Y in Q3 to $911M, with cash expenses falling 4% to $758M.
- On the earnings call, Yahoo said it's taking a $42M write-down on video assets, including a season of Community. Goldman: "We couldn’t see a way to make money."
- Also mentioned: The Alibaba stake spinoff might happen in January (Yahoo was previously aiming for Q4). Mayer insists Yahoo has received a good legal opinion arguing the spinoff is "tax efficient" under current law. Goldman: "We tend not to want to speak for the IRS."
- Q3 segment performance (ex-TAC): Search revenue -13% Y/Y to $390M (the Microsoft deal restructuring weighed). Display ad revenue +2% to $405M. Other revenue -17% to $207M. Search paid clicks +5% Y/Y, price per click -2%, "search ciick-driven" revenue +3%. Display ads sold +8%, price per ad +8%.
- Regional performance (ex-TAC): Americas revenue -5% Y/Y to $786M. EMEA (hurt by forex) -18% to $67M. Asia-Pac (ditto) -18% to $150M.
- No buybacks occurred. Yahoo ended Q3 with $6.8B in cash/investments, and $1.2B in convertible debt.
- YHOO -1.6% after hours to $32.30.
- Yahoo's Q3 results, the Google search/ad deal
Tue, Oct. 20, 4:27 PM
- Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) will provide Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) with Web and image search services, as well as search ads via its AdSense for Search (AFS) platform (allows a custom Google-powered search engine to be provided). The deal covers both PCs and mobile devices, and will apply to Yahoo proprieties and affiliate sites in the U.S., Canada, and various Asian, African, and Latin American markets (but apparently not Europe, where regulators have been closely probing Google). (8-K filing)
- Google will "pay Yahoo a percentage of the gross revenues from AFS ads displayed on Yahoo Properties or Affiliate Sites," with the exact figure varying based on geography and platform. Yahoo will pay fees for Web and image search results. Yahoo "has discretion to select which search queries to send to Google and is not obligated to send any minimum number of search queries."
- The deal, which could raise some eyebrows among regulators given Google's search dominance, follows an April restructuring of Yahoo's search pact with Microsoft/Bing (NASDAQ:MSFT) that made the alliance non-exclusive on both PCs and mobile. The revised deal still requires 51% of Yahoo's PC search traffic to carry Bing results and ads.
- comScore estimates Yahoo had a 12.7% September PC search share in the U.S. (still by far the world's biggest ad market). Google's share is pegged at 63.8%, and Microsoft's at 20.6%. StatCounter estimates Yahoo's U.S. mobile/tablet search share is at 6.8%, and Google's at 88.4%.
- YHOO -0.6% after hours after disclosing the deal in tandem with a Q3 miss. GOOG is flat. There was already speculation a deal could happen, given Yahoo has been testing Google-powered results.
- Update: Some more details: The deal lasts through 2018, and Yahoo and Google are delaying its U.S. implementation to give the DOJ time to review.
Tue, Oct. 20, 4:07 PM
Mon, Oct. 19, 5:35 PM
Mon, Oct. 19, 3:21 AM
- Yahoo's (NASDAQ:YHOO) chief development officer, Jacqueline Reses, is leaving the company to join mobile payments company Square (Pending:SQ), according to Bloomberg.
- The arrival of Reses comes shortly after Jack Dorsey was named permanent chief executive officer of Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), a role he also holds at Square.
- Adding her leadership could help lighten Dorsey's load amid concerns about his dual responsibilities.
Thu, Oct. 15, 12:26 PM
- Looking to halt ongoing share losses to Gmail (or at least slow them), Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) has overhauled its iOS/Android Mail apps. New features include a smarter search engine that makes suggestions based on queries and message content, the ability to fully manage Hotmail, Outlook.com, and AOL.com e-mail accounts, and social media content integration for contact profiles.
- Getting the most attention is Yahoo Account Key, a feature that lets users login without a password by linking their Yahoo account to a mobile device, and approving/denying logins via push notifications sent to the device. Yahoo argues Account Key is more secure than passwords, and eliminates the possibility of a user being unable to logic due to forgetting his/her password.
- comScore estimates Yahoo Mail had 71M U.S. users as of August, down from 96M two years earlier. Over the same time, Gmail's (GOOG, GOOGL) U.S. base, strengthened by the pre-installing of a Gmail app on devices using Google's version of Android, is believed to have grown to 135M from 96M.
- Yahoo is up strongly thanks to Alibaba, which is up 3.9%. Q3 results are due on Oct. 20.
Fri, Oct. 2, 12:13 PM
- Hammered over the last several months as macro concerns and plunging local markets took a toll, U.S.-traded Chinese tech stocks are up strongly (CQQQ +3.2%) today even as the Nasdaq and S&P post modest declines.
- Web/mobile stocks posting big gains include giants Alibaba (BABA +5.3%) and Baidu (BIDU +4.5%), with the former naturally taking Yahoo (YHOO +4%) higher with it. Yahoo rose earlier this week after stating it's still pushing ahead with a spinoff of its 384M-share Alibaba stake.
- Other gainers include Vipshop (VIPS +6.6%), SouFun (SFUN +6.2%), Qihoo (QIHU +6.7%), Youku (YOKU +5.8%), Jumei (JMEI +8%), Bitauto (BITA +5.3%), Weibo (WB +5.9%), Jumei (JMEI +8%), and Cheetah Mobile (CMCM +6.6%). Online travel leaders Ctrip and Qunar are also up big, possibly aided by new efforts from Beijing to boost Macau tourism.
- Solar winners include Yingli (YGE +4.1%), ReneSola (SOL +5.6%), and Daqo (DQ +9.4%).
- ETFs: KWEB, QQQC, EMQQ
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