Nov. 25, 2014, 3:38 AM
- Yahoo's (NASDAQ:YHOO) new move to begin selling canvas prints of Flickr photos is stirring controversy within the Flickr community.
- Yahoo said last week that it would begin selling the prints of 50M Creative Commons-licensed images as well as an unspecified number of handpicked photos from Flickr.
- For handpicked photos, the company will give 51% of sales to their creators, but Yahoo will keep all of the revenue for sales of Creative Commons images.
- Many contributors are not happy about the new move, while other amateur photographers are pleased by the new publicity.
Nov. 19, 2014, 5:20 PM
- Per the terms of a new 5-year deal with Mozilla, Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), whose search engine is powered by Bing (NASDAQ:MSFT), will provide "the default search experience for Firefox in the United States on mobile and desktop." The deal also "provides a framework for exploring future product integrations and distribution opportunities to other markets."
- No word on revenue-sharing terms. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has long been Firefox's default search provider. Google's deal was last renewed in 2011, apparently on more favorable terms to Mozilla.
- Though its browser share has fallen in recent years, thanks to both Chrome's gains and a relatively weak mobile position, StatCounter estimates Firefox still has a 12% combined PC/mobile/console browser share globally. Chrome's share is at 41%, and Internet Explorer's at 13%.
- StatCounter puts Yahoo and Bing's combined global search share at just 7.4%. However, comScore puts their combined U.S. PC search share at 29.8%.
- YHOO +0.8% AH.
Nov. 19, 2014, 4:11 PM
- Yahoo (YHOO) "has been ferreting away over the past few weeks on several more big acquisitions, largely aimed at helping its flagging display business," Kara Swisher reports. Well-funded ad tech startups MediaMath, RadiumOne, and Turn are reportedly among the targets being considered.
- All three companies operate in the fast-growing market for programmatic (automated) ad buys, which presents challenges for Web publishers such as Yahoo to go with opportunities. RadiumOne was once believed to be hatching IPO plans.
- The ink is barely dry on Yahoo's $640M deal to buy video ad tech platform BrightRoll, whose advertiser-facing solutions include a programmatic buying platform. Four months ago, Yahoo struck a deal to buy Flurry, a provider of mobile analytics tools and an in-app ad network.
- Swisher also reports Yahoo has hired consulting giant McKinsey and "a spate of banks" (including Goldman and JPMorgan) to advise it as it continues exploring options to tax-efficiently monetize its Alibaba/Yahoo Japan stakes.
Nov. 17, 2014, 3:38 AM
- Amid a campaign to merge AOL (NYSE:AOL) and Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), activist investor Starboard Value has revealed that it bought a 2.4% stake in AOL in the third quarter.
- Starboard also took a stake in Yahoo during the same period, urging CEO Marissa Mayer to consider a combination of the two companies.
- Starboard has disclosed the size of its position in Yahoo, listing 7.7M shares, or about a 0.8% stake, putting it just outside the list of top 10 shareholders in the company.
- Previously: Activist Starboard takes stake in Yahoo, calls for AOL merger
Nov. 14, 2014, 3:12 PM
- Oppenheimer has hiked its Yahoo (YHOO +2.1%) target by $12 to $61, and FBR has hiked its target by $10 to $60. Shares have made new highs, and (with a big assist from Alibaba) are now up 27% YTD.
- FBR's William Bird: "YHOO offers a lower-cost play on Alibaba with the potential for improved core Yahoo performance as new initiatives (i.e., mobile, native, social, and video) likely start to overcome core display pressure."
- His new target (naturally) reflects Alibaba's post-IPO rally, partly offset by expectations of lower buybacks (due to a higher stock price) and a slight reduction to his sum-of-the-parts valuation due to the BrightRoll deal.
- Two days ago: Yahoo, Alibaba rally following (more) bullish notes
Nov. 12, 2014, 1:15 PM
- Much as they did a week ago, Yahoo (YHOO +2.8%) and Alibaba (BABA +3.7%) are rallying following upbeat Street commentary. BofA/Merrill and UBS have hiked their Yahoo targets in the wake of the BrightRoll deal, BMO and SunTrust have offered positive remarks about Alibaba's Singles Day performance, and HSBC has launched coverage on Alibaba at Overweight.
- BofA/Merrill's Justin Post argues BrightRoll "should enhance Yahoo’s video ad serving capabilities and put the company in a more competitive position with Facebook’s LiveRail, AOL’s Adap.tv and YouTube." His target has been hiked by $7 to $55.
- SunTrust's Robert Peck thinks Alibaba's Singles Day revenue may have risen 65% Y/Y. He also expects the company's mobile monetization rate (up strongly in FQ2, though still below PC levels) to rise again in FQ3, aided by "Tmall growth and strong ROIs for mobile ads on Taobao."
Nov. 12, 2014, 3:10 AM
- At least two more top-10 Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) shareholders are pushing for an AOL (NYSE:AOL) merger and have taken their plea directly to AOL CEO Tim Armstrong.
- Armstrong has acknowledged the potential benefits of a merger, but indicated he would only consider a friendly deal, Reuters reports.
- The move follows a campaign by activist investor Starboard Value, which is pushing Yahoo to consider a deal with AOL and unlock its valuable stakes in Asian Web companies.
- Previously: AOL CEO downplays Yahoo talk, predicts ad shakeup
- Previously: Activist Starboard takes stake in Yahoo, calls for AOL merger
Nov. 11, 2014, 4:58 PM
- "BrightRoll is a large, growing and profitable business with net revenues expected to exceed $100 million this year," says Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) as it announces its acquisition of the video ad platform. The deal is expected to close in Q1 2015.
- Yahoo notes BrightRoll's programmatic (automated) ad platform handles ad-buying for 87 AdAge Top 100 U.S. advertisers, as well as all of the top 10 demand-side (advertiser-facing) online ad platforms. Meanwhile, BrightRoll's publisher-facing offerings monetize ad inventory for "tens of thousands" of sites/apps.
- Yahoo, hungry for some time to grow its video ad scale and put an end to its display ad revenue declines, declares acquiring BrightRoll "will dramatically strengthen Yahoo's video advertising platform, making it the largest in the US."
- The acquisition price is lower than the ~$700M previously reported by TechCrunch. Yahoo just reaped $6.3B in post-tax Alibaba IPO proceeds; it has promised to return at least half of the sum to shareholders.
Nov. 10, 2014, 2:59 PM
- Hortonworks, provider of one of the two most popular software distributions for the Hadoop big data/analytics framework, has filed for an IPO under the symbol HDP. Underwriters include Goldman, Credit Suisse, RBC, Pac Crest, and Wells Fargo. (prospectus)
- For now, Hortonworks is only filing to raise up to $100M, but given the company was valued at over $1B in an early-2014 funding round, that figure might rise. Yahoo (YHOO +1.7%), which spun out Hortonworks in 2011 in tandem with VC firm Benchmark, has a 19.6% pre-IPO stake. Teradata (TDC +1.9%) owns 8.3%, and H-P 5.9%.
- Both sales and losses have been growing rapidly as enterprises embrace Hadoop to analyze giants sets of unstructured data, and Hortonworks spends aggressively to go after the opportunity. Revenue for the nine months ending Sep. 30 totaled $33.4M (+110% Y/Y), and net loss $86.7M.
- Gross billings for the 12 months ending Sep. 30 totaled $65.7M. Hortonworks had 233 support subscription customers at the end of the period.
- Cloudera, Hortonworks' biggest rival, raised $900M in March ($740M from Intel) at a $4.1B valuation. Both Hortonworks and Cloudera have been working to add enterprise-class reliability and management features to their Hadoop distributions.
Nov. 9, 2014, 11:48 AM
- Potential investors include Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), private equity firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and others.
- Previously: Yahoo set to invest in Snapchat at $10B valuation
- Previously: Kleiner Perkins investing in Snapchat at ~$10B valuation
- Previously: Alibaba looking to invest in Snapchat at $10B valuation
- Previously: Facebook reportedly offered $3B for Snapchat, was turned down
Nov. 5, 2014, 11:32 AM
- Plenty of firms (including many of the underwriters who just launched coverage) have hiked their Alibaba (BABA +3.5%) after the company beat FQ2 revenue estimates yesterday (while posting in-line EPS) on the back of strong GMV growth and improving mobile monetization. Both Alibaba and Yahoo (YHOO +2.3%) are making fresh highs.
- In addition to Alibaba's gains, Yahoo is benefiting from a bullish launch from SunTrust's Robert Peck. Peck considers the weakness in Yahoo's core properties priced in, and believes the Street is "giving little credit to some of the progress made more recently around mobile, native [ads], Tumblr, search, and video." He estimates the core business is being valued at less than 1x EV/EBITDA.
- Morgan Stanley likes Alibaba's 262% Y/Y mobile GMV growth, and thinks the acceleration seen in Taobao GMV points to improved conversion rates. Meanwhile, Jefferies and BofA/Merrill are pleased with management remarks suggesting an average customer's spending grows considerably over time.
- Cantor: "A differentiated pricing model, strong brand and unmatched scale continue to give Alibaba an unfair competitive advantage relative to peers both in and outside China. We believe the company's outsized growth and margin profiles should support higher valuation over time."
- The firm has hiked its FY15 revenue and EPS estimates, albeit while slashing its EBITDA estimate on expectations spending will remain elevated. Alibaba, for its part, doesn't plan to provide guidance.
Nov. 4, 2014, 10:19 AM
- Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) is up 2.7% after beating FQ2 revenue estimates on the back of 54% Y/Y growth - it was driven by a 49% increase in GMV, and more than a 3x increase in mobile monetization rate. EPS was only in-line, as aggressive spending yielded an 890 bps drop in non-GAAP EBITDA margin.
- Yahoo (YHOO +1.3%) is moderately higher following the numbers. Its remaining 384M-share stake in Alibaba has a current pre-tax value of $40.2B. SoftBank's (OTCPK:SFTBF) 797.7M-share stake has a pre-tax value of $83.4B.
Oct. 30, 2014, 2:09 PM
- Lisa Utzschneider, formerly Amazon's display ad chief, is now Yahoo's (YHOO +0.3%) SVP of Americas sales. She'll be in charge of all North/South American ad sales teams. (PR)
- Ned Brody, hired just over a year ago from AOL (following a legal squabble) to be Yahoo's Americas ad chief, is now its SVP of ad tech and strategy. Kara Swisher reported last week Marissa Mayer's relationship with Brody "remains strained," and that a search for a replacement was ongoing.
- The Americas accounted for 76% of Yahoo's Q3 revenue. The region's sales rose 2% Y/Y, with search ad growth offsetting a display ad decline.
Oct. 22, 2014, 11:36 AM
- "We have the best tax experts in the country working intensively on structures to maximize the value to our shareholders of our remaining stake in Alibaba," said Marissa Mayer during Yahoo's (NASDAQ:YHOO) Q3 CC. Her company is set to pay $3.3B in taxes on its sale of 140M Alibaba shares at IPO time.
- CFO Ken Goldman added Yahoo "negotiated hard" with Alibaba to "be able to take actions" during the 12-month lockup period for its remaining 384M-share Alibaba stake that would leave Yahoo "in position to create structures or approaches that would allow us to hopefully presumably take advantage of minimizing taxes."
- FBR has cited Yahoo's tax-saving efforts as a reason for upgrading shares to Outperform post-earnings; it sees up to $13/share in potential savings. The firm is also upbeat about Yahoo's mobile efforts.
- In the wake of TechCrunch's report about a potential BrightRoll acquisition, Marissa Mayer responded to a question about acquiring a programmatic ad company by suggesting Yahoo is open to buying a firm that's "either in the building block category or the strategic category," albeit while cautioning "more consideration" would be needed.
- As expected, the 24% Y/Y drop in Yahoo's display ad prices was attributed to low prices for native ads (often shown on mobile devices); Mayer said Yahoo is looking to boost prices by improving targeting. Regarding search ads, she noted paid click growth (flat Y/Y) was pressured by ad quality improvements in Asia-Pac; Americas paid clicks were up 9%.
- Prior Yahoo earnings coverage
Oct. 22, 2014, 9:19 AM| Oct. 22, 2014, 9:19 AM | 1 Comment
Oct. 21, 2014, 5:56 PM
- Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) recorded a $6.3B Q3 post-tax gain related to its Alibaba IPO windfall. The company expects to pay $3.3B in cash taxes related to the sale Q1 2015.
- The company disclosed on its CC mobile was responsible for $200M of Yahoo's Q3 revenue (17% of total). It expects full-year gross mobile revenue (doesn't back out traffic acquisition costs) of more than 1.2B.
- Marissa Mayer predicts Tumblr (acquired last year for $1.1B) will produce over $100M in 2015 revenue, and generate positive EBITDA.
- YHOO +2.1% AH. Q3 results, guidance/details.
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