Fri, Jun. 12, 7:30 PM
- Roughly 18 months after first striking a deal with Katie Couric, Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) has extended its deal with the news anchor. Re/code reports Couric's annual pay is being increased "from upwards of $6 million to $10 million."
- Couric is one of several high-profile Yahoo media hires has made during the Marissa Mayer era. During a May interview, Mayer insisted (amid criticism of the media hires) Yahoo is getting a good return on its investment in Couric. "You can do things like measure the ads that you’ve sold against those programs and the follow-on views. And they all mean this is a very profitable and good investment. But I will say, to me it was really more about raising [Yahoo's] journalistic standard..."
Thu, Jun. 11, 2:53 PM
- After talking with tax lawyers and lobbyists, policy analysis/research firm Capstone thinks recent comments from an IRS official about potentially changing tax-free spinoff rules were "carefully choreographed" by the IRS and Treasury, and "designed to send a message to Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) concerning the Alibaba spinoff, though neither company was mentioned by name."
- Capstone thinks an adverse ruling would have an $11B impact on Yahoo, whose 384M-share Alibaba stake is currently worth $33.7B. It also notes (citing a law firm) the aggregate value of all spinoffs occurring in 2012 and 2013 was respectively just $41B and $33B.
- Yahoo tumbled on May 19 after an IRS official stated the agency is reviewing rules on "spinoffs of trades or businesses that are small compared with a company’s other assets," but recovered a chunk of its losses after responding to the comments.
Fri, Jun. 5, 2:27 AM
- Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) is shutting down a few of its services, including its Yahoo Maps site, as it realigns itself to focus on search and digital content.
- Yahoo Pipes is on schedule to go into read-only mode (no Pipes creation) on August 30, and API GeoPlanet and PlaceSpotter will meet their demise.
- Yahoo also highlighted it will no longer support older versions of Apple's iPhone operating system and several regional media sites.
Wed, Jun. 3, 11:42 AM
- On Sunday, Oct. 25, Yahoo (YHOO +0.7%) will livestream a game between the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars for free to users worldwide, and monetize it by selling ads. Re/code reports industry execs thinks Yahoo is paying at least $20M for the privilege, and that another tech company made "a very competitive bid."
- The deal is the first of its kind for the NFL, and appears to be a trial balloon: It features two small-market teams, and (on account of being played in London) will air at 9:30AM ET. However, as Re/code notes, the airtime is more friendly to European viewers whom the NFL could be trying to win over with some free sample content.
- CBS will handle production of the game. Though broadcast rights to most NFL games are locked up through 2022 or longer, a slate of Thursday night games becomes available next year. The NFL could sell the rights to an Internet company ... or use Web firms as a bargaining chip to strike a better deal with a traditional distributor, as it apparently did for the Sunday Ticket package.
- Past Yahoo video investments: Katie Couric, Saturday Night Live, the BrightRoll acquisition
Fri, May 29, 6:20 AM
- Yahoo Japan (OTCPK:YAHOY) and Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) have agreed to work together to help Japanese companies sell cosmetics, baby products and other household items on Alibaba's Tmall and Tmall Global sites.
- The move also paves the way for a very cozy partnership. Just like Yahoo Japan, Alibaba counts Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBY) and Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) as its two major shareholders.
- Yahoo Japan shares rose nearly 12% in Tokyo on the news.
- Previously: Yahoo Japan jumps on China alliance with Alibaba (May. 28 2015)
Thu, May 28, 11:21 PM
- Yahoo Japan (OTCPK:YAHOY) is up 8.6% in Tokyo, the biggest single-day jump in two months, as it says it's looking to team with Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA) to enter China's e-commerce market.
- The company -- Japan's third-largest e-tailer -- will help guide Japanese companies to sell products, especially household goods, on Alibaba's Tmall and Tmall Global sites.
- Japanese goods' increasing popularity in China is providing expansion opportunities, Yahoo Japan (a JV between Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBY) and Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO)) noted in a statement.
- Softbank is up 1.7% in Tokyo.
Wed, May 27, 10:26 AM
- Evercore's Ken Sena: "With less than five percent of the SpinCo value comprised by Yahoo's (YHOO - unchanged) selected ATB (Yahoo Small Business), we suspect the hurdle for establishing a legitimate corporate business purpose will be higher. Moreover, since the Treasury began its rhetoric around inversion, which we believe provides us with some read, we count 10 transaction withdrawals out of 13 with only two new deals since announced."
- Sena, who has downgraded to Hold and cut his target by $7 to $48, adds the 3 transactions approved by the Treasury only produced a small tax benefit, and that the IRS' review of spinoff tax rules could affect Yahoo's ability to monetize both its Alibaba and Yahoo Japan stakes.
- He thinks altering the Alibaba spinoff proposal would "prolong the application process into next year and possibly beyond," possibly distracting management and affecting its enthusiasm for buybacks.
- Yahoo is near breakeven on an up day for equities. Shares plunged last week after news of the IRS review first emerged, but recovered a chunk of their losses the next day after Yahoo issued a response.
Wed, May 27, 2:47 AM
- Several other Internet giants reached out and held early discussions about buying Flipboard in recent weeks, including Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Google (GOOG, GOOGL), although those talks involved ideas around how products would be integrated rather than centering around price, sources told WSJ.
- Talks with Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) went further, discussing a $1B+ all-stock deal, but those negotiations have largely stalled since April.
- Previously: Report: Twitter held talks to buy Flipboard for over $1B (May. 25 2015)
Thu, May 21, 9:17 AM
- New additions to Goldman's hedge fund hotels - 50 stocks which most frequently appear among the largest ten holdings of hedge funds: AerCap (NYSE:AER), Assured Guaranty (NYSE:AGO), Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI), Citizens Financial (NYSE:CFG), Colony Capital (NYSE:CLNY), Dresser-Rand (NYSE:DRC), Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO), Hospira (NYSE:HSP), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), NXP Semi (NASDAQ:NXPI), Pharmacyclics (NASDAQ:PCYC), Visa (NYSE:V), and Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA).
- Since 2001, the basket has outperformed the S&P 500 in 66% of quarters by an average of 73 basis points. YTD, however, it has underperformed by nine bps. Goldman notes the current basket overweights Consumer Discretionary (22%) and underweights Consumer Staples (2%).
- Looking at the full list, Actavis (NYSE:ACT) leads the way, with 77 funds naming the stock as a top 10 holding. Next up is Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) with 69, then Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) at 42. For the entire list of 50, the average is 26 funds making a stock a top 10 holding.
- The rest in order: Valeant (NYSE:VRX), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV), Citigroup (NYSE:C), Time Warner (NYSE:TWC), Delta (NYSE:DAL), Cheneire (NYSEMKT:LNG), Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYK), AIG, SunEdison (NYSE:SUNE), Air Products (NYSE:APD), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), GM, BofA (NYSE:BAC), JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Macquarie Infrastructure (NYSE:MIC), American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR), Google (GOOG, GOOGL), Ally Financial (NYSE:ALLY), NorthStar Realty (NYSE:NRF), Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN), eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY), MasterCard (NYSE:MA), Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), Micron (NASDAQ:MU), Williams (NYSE:WMB), Gilead (NASDAQ:GILD), Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B), Dolar General (NYSE:DG), NorthStar Asset (NYSE:NSAM), Brookdale Senior (NYSE:BKD), DISH Network (NASDAQ:DISH).
- See also: Goldman updates list of hedge funds most-shorted stocks (May 21)
Wed, May 20, 9:21 AM
- A Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) statement made via Tumblr: "Yahoo understands that the IRS’s statement is not specific to Yahoo’s planned Q4 2015 spin-off of its remaining stake in Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA) and Yahoo Small Business, reflects no change in applicable law, and does not affect previously filed ruling requests. Yahoo filed its pending ruling request with the IRS in Q1 2015. Yahoo continues to work toward completing the planned spin-off in Q4 2015."
- Shares fell 7.6% just before the close yesterday after it was learned IRS senior technician reviewer Isaac Zimbalist had stated the IRS is reviewing rules on "spinoffs of trades or businesses that are small compared with a company’s other assets," and would hold in abeyance new spinoff ruling requests. He added existing applications would still be reviewed, while noting this was subject to change.
- Zimbalist: "The issue comes down to whether we’ve dropped a hot-dog stand or a lemonade stand into a business that is primarily publicly traded stocks, cash and other wonderful things that I call appreciated property." Yahoo has included its Small Business services unit with the Alibaba spinoff in an attempt to meet the IRS' Active Business requirement. BGC's Colin Gillis notes the IRS' review could also have implications for a potential Yahoo Japan spinoff.
- Yahoo has rebounded to $42.11 in premarket trading. Alibaba is nearly unchanged.
Tue, May 19, 4:28 PM
- Bloomberg reports the IRS is considering rule changes about "spinoffs of trades or businesses that are small compared with a company’s other assets." An IRS official states the agency will hold in abeyance new spinoff ruling requests while the issue is studied. Existing requests will continue to be reviewed, but that's subject to change.
- The report has sparked fears the IRS won't sign off on Yahoo's (NASDAQ:YHOO) plans to do a tax-free spinoff of its 384M-share Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) stake later this year.
- Yahoo closed down 7.6%. Alibaba rose 1.3% on hopes 384M more shares won't become available for sale.
- Earlier: Yahoo takes late-day tumble
Tue, May 19, 3:46 PM
Tue, May 12, 10:34 AM
- Though the Nasdaq is down 0.9%, Yahoo (YHOO +1%) is higher following news Verizon is acquiring AOL (i.e. the company Starboard Value dreamed about merging with Yahoo) for $4.4B. Demand-side/programmatic ad tech platform owner Rocket Fuel (FUEL +3.4%), which competes with AOL's ad tech ops, is also up.
- Citi's Mark May: "We view this deal as a positive for YHOO as it shows there are strategic buyers for this type of asset and because we view YHOO as a strong asset that is currently only valued at 1x our 2016 EBITDA estimate." With Yahoo spinning off its Alibaba stake later this year and exploring options for its Yahoo Japan stake, core Yahoo might soon be available by itself.
- Last week, Rocket Fuel received an unsolicited $350M buyout offer from rival Gravity4 (and jumped in response). However, questions remains about Gravity4's ability to finance the bid, which has been viewed by many as a publicity stunt.
Thu, May 7, 9:30 AM
- Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) has jumped to $89.05 after posting an FQ4 beat amid low expectations. Along with the results, the company has announced COO Daniel Zhang is its new CEO, effective May 10; current CEO Jonathan Lu will stay on board as vice chairman, joining Joseph Tsai in holding that title. Jack Ma remains executive chairman.
- Revenue growth accelerated to 45% Y/Y from FQ3's 40%. Chinese marketplaces GMV rose 40% to RMB600B ($96.6B), a slowdown from FQ3's 49%. Mobile accounted for 51% of GMV, up from 42% in FQ3 and 36% in FQ2. Annual active buyers +5% Q/Q and +37% Y/Y to 350M.
- A stabilizing monetization rate (revenue as a % of GMV) helped make the FQ4 beat possible: After falling 35 bps Y/Y in seasonally strong FQ3 to 2.7%, monetization rate fell just 1 bps Y/Y in FQ4 to 2.17%. Making this possible: Mobile monetization rate rose to 1.73% from 0.98% a year ago. Altogether, mobile revenue rose 352% Y/Y and was 40% of China retail marketplace revenue vs. 30% in FQ3 and 12% a year ago.
- Segment performance: China retail commerce revenue +39% Y/Y to $2.11B. China wholesale +42% to $136M. International wholesale +19% to $190M. International retail +53% to $70M. Cloud computing/Web infrastructure +82% to $63M. Everything else (boosted by acquisitions) +169% to $243M. Taobao GMV +29% to $61B; Tmall GMV +62% to $35B.
- Financials: Free cash flow +143% Y/Y to $914M; it trailed net income of $1.25B. R&D spend ($491M) was 17% of revenue vs. 10% a year ago; sales/marketing ($408M) was 15% of revenue vs. 11%; G&A ($400M) was 14% of revenue vs. 4%. Soaring stock compensation expenses (driven by the IPO) contributed to the spending growth. Alibaba had $19.7B in cash at the end of March.
- Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) has risen to $44.95 thanks to Alibaba. SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF) has seen the value of 797.7M-share Alibaba stake grow by over $7B.
- Alibaba's FQ4 results, PR
Thu, May 7, 9:20 AM
Thu, Apr. 30, 2:20 AM
- Yahoo's (NASDAQ:YHOO) Marissa Mayer got a nice pay bump last year, with a total compensation valued at $42.1M, up from $24.9M in 2013.
- While her base salary remained at $1M, Mayer received $11.8M in stock awards, $28.2M in option awards and $1.1M of non-equity incentive-plan compensation.
- Yahoo noted that it delivered significant returns to shareholders in 2014 and said its focus on mobile growth "paid off."
YHOO vs. ETF Alternatives
Other News & PR