Wed, Mar. 18, 6:18 PM
- Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) is "withdrawing its remaining operations in China, laying off between 200 and 300 employees and shutting down its Beijing research center," a source tells the WSJ. A layoff of 250 employees would be equal to 2% of Yahoo's global workforce of 12.5K.
- The pullback is part of a broader cost-cutting effort that thus far has resulted in 700-900 layoffs occurring since October (mostly outside the U.S.). Yahoo was reported in October to be cutting 400 Indian jobs.
- In addition to pushing for an AOL merger and larger buybacks, activist Starboard Value has been urging Yahoo to cut costs by as much as $500M/year.
- Not counting its Alibaba stake, Yahoo has a limited presence in a Chinese Web services space dominated by local firms. The company's total Asia-Pac revenue fell 7% Y/Y in Q4 to $180M; it bailed out of South Korea back in 2012.
Tue, Mar. 17, 3:52 AM
- Employees and investors will be able to sell 337M Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) shares starting Wednesday, after the stock's first "lock-up" arrangement expires.
- The termination of the 180-day period will likely weigh on Alibaba’s share price, which may come under pressure in the near-term, analysts say.
- There are different lock-up periods for different shareholders, and stock held by its largest shareholders - Softbank (OTCPK:SFTBY), Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Alibaba executives - will be frozen until the company's IPO anniversary in September.
- BABA -0.2% AH
Mon, Mar. 16, 10:56 AM
- Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) is up sharply in early trading after Chinese premier Li Keqiang suggested (amid slowing GDP growth) fresh stimulus efforts will be launched if needed, sparking a 2.1% overnight rally for the Shanghai exchange. Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) is naturally following Alibaba higher.
- The gains come two days before a massive 437M-share lockup expiration arrives. 100M of the shares are subject to employee trading restrictions that will remain in place until Alibaba's FQ4 report (expected in May) is released.
- Short-covering could be aiding today's gains: Alibaba had 56.9M shares shorted as of Feb. 27, the highest figure recorded since a September IPO in which 368M shares were sold.
Sat, Mar. 14, 8:00 AM
- Sony Pictures Television (NYSE:SNE) is within a few weeks of a deal to sell the episode library of hit '90s sitcom Seinfeld to a video streaming service: Hulu (CMCSA, DIS, FOXA), Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), or Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), and thus maybe to a whole new generation of viewers.
- Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) won't be among them, though, as it's passing -- which gives competitors a chance to nab a TV crown jewel and make up some ground in a content-acquisition arms race.
- Seinfeld -- a show that has generated more than $2.7B in syndication sales alone -- has 180 episodes, each of which should draw well over $500K in what should be a long multi-year agreement.
- While Sony has distribution rights and is making the deal, most of the revenue would likely go to Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), owner of Seinfeld producer Castle Rock Entertainment.
- Previously: Now a friendly deal between Time Warner and Netflix (Oct. 15 2014)
- Previously: CBS next to join Sony's online TV service (Nov. 06 2014)
- Previously: Bernstein: Amazon spending $2.5B+ on content next year (Oct. 13 2014)
Wed, Mar. 4, 1:58 PM
- A day after slumping to new post-IPO lows and coming within $0.03 of $80, Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) has seen dip-buyers emerge in large numbers. Naturally, Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) is along for the ride.
- The gains come as a Chinese publication reports Jack Ma once said he considered acquiring Yahoo, which plans to spin off its Alibaba stake into a publicly-traded company in Q4. Ma's alleged comments: "The acquisition of Yahoo is something I worked [on] a couple of years ago, this is a political problem, not an economic problem, Yahoo is a media [company], more sensitive."
- There has already been speculation Alibaba will try to buy Yahoo's spinoff (much less politically challenging than buying the whole of Yahoo) at some point. Bloomberg's Matt Levine has noted the spinoff will have to wait a year before a deal occurs, in order to maintain its tax-free status.
- Meanwhile, Alibaba's Aliyun cloud services unit (a giant in the Chinese cloud infrastructure market) has opened a Silicon Valley data center, its first in the U.S. For now, the data center will cater to Chinese companies with U.S. operations, but it plans to go after non-Chinese clients later this year. When it does, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and a slew of other incumbents will be waiting.
Tue, Mar. 3, 1:46 PM
- Alibaba (BABA -3.3%) has slumped to new post-IPO lows on a down day for equities, and at one point was just $0.03 above $80. Shares remain 19% above their $68 IPO price.
- Yahoo (YHOO -3.8%), which has seen the value of its 384M-share Alibaba stake (set to be spun off) fall to $31.1B, is following Alibaba lower. Yahoo's market cap stands at $41B.
- Possibly hurting Alibaba: The WSJ has taken a look at the use of fake orders (i.e. "brushing) by Alibaba merchants to pad their sales and thereby boost their standing on the company's marketplaces.
- Merchants pay "brushers" to place orders, and then ship them boxes that are empty or full of worthless items. A November column from China's state-owned Xinhua News Agency estimated 17% of sellers (1.2M) on Alibaba's Taobao site (focused on smaller merchants) had faked RMB10B ($1.6B) worth of transactions in 2013.
- Alibaba says it punishes sellers found to be faking transactions, and analyzes IP and mailing address data to spot anomalies. Chinese regulator SAIC recently issued a report criticizing Alibaba for fake goods listings and other illegal business done on its sites, but backtracked after Alibaba blasted the report.
- The Chinese e-commerce giant now trades for 28x estimated FY16 (ends March '16) EPS. The FY16 revenue growth consensus is at 36%.
- Update: Bloomberg suggests JD.com's strong Q4 numbers could be fueling concerns Alibaba is losing share. JD's GMV rose 119% Y/Y in calendar Q4 to $13.8B; Alibaba's rose 49% to $125.9B.
Mon, Feb. 23, 12:07 PM
- Among the additions to the index (which fuels the IBLN ETF) are EMC, Google (GOOG, GOOGL), Goodyear (NASDAQ:GT), Mohawk Industries (NYSE:MHK), PVH, Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), and Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO). There are three health care additions as well: Allergan (NYSE:AGN), Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), and HCA. The lone energy name added is Consol Energy (NYSE:CNX).
- Exiting the index are energy names Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) and National-Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV), along with healthcare companies AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV), Aetna (NYSE:AET), Humana (NYSE:HUM), and Tenet Healthcare (NYSE:THC). Citigroup (NYSE:C), CBS, Crown Castle (NYSE:CCI), and Michael Kors (NYSE:KORS) round out those subtracted.
- IBLN tracks the highest-conviction S&P 500 picks by hot-handed billionaires who built their fortunes through hedge funds and investing. The list of billionaires tracked is updated each October, and the equity components are rebalanced each quarter after sifting through regulatory filings.
- IBillionaire Index Rebalance
Thu, Feb. 19, 6:41 PM
- With the help of recently-acquired mobile analytics/ad platform Flurry, Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) has launched a suite of ad monetization, search, and marketing (ad-buying) tools for 3rd-party mobile developers.
- It has also launched (via Flurry) a new analytics tool that helps developers run more complex queries, and a solution that helps developers more easily share data with partners. Flurry currently has 200K developers on its platform.
- Yahoo's goal: To get developers connected to its ecosystem, and potentially buy or host Yahoo ads along the way. Google, Facebook, and Twitter have already launched mobile developer tools with similar ambitions.
- While unveiling the products, Marissa Mayer again mentioned Yahoo's 2014 gross mobile revenue topped $1.2B. GAAP mobile revenue, which backs out revenue-sharing payments, totaled $768M (16.6% of total GAAP revenue).
Tue, Feb. 17, 4:49 PM
- Though the ink is barely dry on a $485.6M funding round valuing the company at ~$10B, Bloomberg reports Snapchat is looking to raise as much as $500M at a valuation "as high as $19 billion." That would make the ephemeral messaging platform the third-most-valuable VC-backed startup, behind Xiaomi and Uber, and give it a valuation nearly equal to the $22B paid by Facebook for WhatsApp.
- Snapchat's monthly active user count is believed to be nearing 200M. Unlike WhatsApp (700M+ MAUs), Snapchat's user base skews towards the U.S. (by far the world's biggest ad market), but it also skews towards younger Americans with less disposable income.
- More than 700M "snaps" are sent, and over 500M stories viewed, on Snapchat's platform daily. A recently-launched video content service (called Discover) has won the support of ESPN, CNN, and rumored investor Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO).
Fri, Feb. 13, 6:51 AM
Wed, Feb. 11, 11:56 AM
Wed, Feb. 4, 2:38 AM
- Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) has decided to spin off its Small Business unit, which helps small enterprises set up and run their businesses online, as part of the spinoff of its $40B stake in Alibaba.
- "We're mapping out additional investments now for our platform and services," Yahoo Small Business announced on its Tumblr page. "We expect the completion of the transaction to occur in Q4 2015."
Thu, Jan. 29, 9:37 AM
- Alibaba's (NYSE:BABA) FQ3 GMV rose 49% Y/Y to RMB787B ($127B). However, its monetization rate (revenue as a % of GMV) fell 35 bps Y/Y to 2.7%, leading revenue growth to only reach 40%. By contrast, monetization rate fell just 1 bps (to 2.30%) in FQ2.
- A major culprit: Mobile grew to 42% of GMV from 36% in FQ2 and 20% a year ago. And the mobile monetization rate (1.96% vs. 1.87% in FQ2 and 1.12% a year ago) remains well below the total rate. Mobile was 30% of revenue vs. 42% of GMV.
- A bright spot: EBITDA rose 34% Y/Y to $2.43B, better than expectations for 24% growth and driving the EPS beat. Heavy spending led EBITDA margin to slip to 58% from 60% a year ago. With stock compensation spend (IPO-driven) rising to 16% of revenue from 4%, and new business initiatives growing, operating expenses rose to 33% of revenue from 30%, and gross margin fell to 71% from 78%.
- China commerce revenue +32% to $3.6B (a slowdown from FQ2's 47%); international commerce (AliExpress-driven) +39% to $284M; cloud computing/infrastructure +85% to $58M; everything else (boosted by acquisitions) +266% to $309M.
- Taobao GMV (driven by smaller merchants) +43% to $80B; Tmall GMV (driven by larger merchants) +60% to $47B. Annual active buyers rose to 334M from 307M in FQ2 and 231M a year ago.
- Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) is following Alibaba lower, and is now down 9% since posting Q4 results and announcing its spinoff plans.
- Alibaba's FQ3 results, PR
- Related tickers: OTCPK:SFTBF, OTCPK:SFTBY
Thu, Jan. 29, 9:12 AM
Wed, Jan. 28, 12:40 PM
- After having surged above $51 in AH trading yesterday, Yahoo (YHOO +1.7%) is back below $49 today after beating Q4 estimates, providing light Q1 guidance, and unveiling plans for a tax-free spinoff of its Alibaba stake.
- Hurting Yahoo's cause: Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) is selling off in the wake of the spinoff news - by proxy, Yahoo's SpinCo increases the supply of Alibaba shares - and criticism from Chinese regulators about illicit goods sold on its sites.
- The spinoff has triggered speculation Alibaba could buy back the spinoff shares to lower its share count and/or simplify its share structure. However, as Bloomberg's Matt LeVine observes, to maintain the SpinCo's tax-free status, Yahoo can't have a pre-arranged agreement to sell it back to Alibaba, and the SpinCo will have to wait a year before selling itself. "Until then, SpinCo ought to trade at a discount to Alibaba, since it's just Alibaba plus a tax liability."
- SunTrust's Bob Peck has raised his Yahoo target by $4 to $61. He notes (Alibaba-funded) buybacks have lowered share count by 13% since Q1 2013, and likes CFO Ken Goldman's Yahoo Japan remarks.
- Evercore's Ken Sena estimates the spinoff yields $16/share in tax savings. He values the SpinCo at $48/share, assuming Alibaba trades at the midpoint of current levels and Evercore's $130 target.
- Alibaba reports tomorrow morning.
- Update: Yahoo closed down 3.2%. Alibaba closed down 4.4%.
Tue, Jan. 27, 7:00 PM
- Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) has guided in its Q4 earnings slides (.pdf) for Q1 revenue (ex-TAC) of $1.02B-$1.06B, below a $1.1B consensus. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to fall to $200M-$240M from $306M a year earlier, and op. income to $50M-$90M from $149M.
- The company used its Alibaba IPO windfall to buy back $980M worth of shares in Q4 at an average price of $45.26 (contributed to the EPS beat). $9.7B have been bought back since Q2 2012.
- Q4 search revenue (ex-TAC) was nearly flat Y/Y at $462M, after rising 6% in Q3. However, search click revenue (excludes Microsoft payments) rose 18%, driven by a 10% increase in paid clicks and a 7% increase in price per click.
- Display revenue (ex-TAC), still hurt by share loss and the transition to native ads, fell 5% to $464M. Ads sold rose 17%, but price per ad fell 20%. All other revenue rose 2% to $253M.
- Americas revenue was flat Y/Y at $913M. EMEA fell 7% to $87M, and Asia-Pac 7% to $180M. Operating expenses rose 6% to $923M.
- On the CC, CFO Ken Goldman says Yahoo didn't include its Yahoo Japan (OTCPK:YAHOF) stake in the Alibaba spinoff in order to keep the transaction simple, but hints some other move could be on tap. "We are not saying we will not do something."
- Marissa Mayer says Yahoo is talking with Microsoft about the terms of the companies' search alliance; Mayer has made it clear more than once she's not happy with its performance. Not surprisingly, she also suggests Yahoo would love to displace Google (previous) as Apple's Safari search provider.
- YHOO +7.4% AH. Q4 results, Alibaba announcement.
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