Jul. 15, 2014, 4:33 PM
- Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) has further amended its IPO share sale agreement with Alibaba (Pending:BABA): The company is now only required to sell 140M Alibaba shares at IPO time, down from a prior 208M.
- Yahoo also promises to return "at least half of the after-tax [Alibaba] IPO proceeds to shareholders." That could translate into several billion worth of buybacks and/or a big special dividend.
- The company guides in its Q2 earnings slides (.pdf) for Q3 revenue (ex-TAC) of $1.02B-$1.06B, below a $1.1B consensus. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to fall to $220M-$260M from $331M a year earlier, and op. income is expected to total $70M-$110M.
- Alibaba had Q1 revenue of $1.97B (+42% Y/Y), gross profit of $1.4B (+37%), and net income of $906M (+36%). The company already provided many Q1 details in a June F-1 filing. Yahoo Japan (OTCMKTS:YAHOF) had Q1 revenue of $1.06B (-6%), and net income of $311M (-10%).
- $719M was spent on buybacks in Q2, up from $450M in Q1.
- YHOO +1% AH. Q1 results, PR.
Jul. 15, 2014, 4:06 PM
Jul. 14, 2014, 5:35 PM
Jul. 14, 2014, 4:25 PM
- Tim Armstrong would "dearly love" to merge AOL (AOL +2.1%) with Yahoo (YHOO +0.8%), and has (in "sideways ways") brought it up to Marissa Mayer and others, sources tell Kara Swisher.
- However, while many at both companies see value in a deal, given content, video, and ad synergies, Mayer reportedly considers it "small, unexciting, uninspiring and backward-looking."
- Mayer would, however, like to buy the Huffington Post. But Armstrong is said to be uninterested in selling the site by itself.
- The report follows a Sun Valley talk between Mayer and Armstrong that fueled speculation the CEOs were talking about a deal.
- Yahoo's Q2 report arrives tomorrow. The Street is hoping some clarity will be given on Yahoo's plans for its Alibaba IPO windfall.
Jul. 11, 2014, 4:29 PM
- "Yahoo (YHOO) is focused on growing video users and monthly streams ... This deal demonstrates our dedication to accelerating our video strategy and boosting our underlying technology infrastructure in the space," says Yahoo exec P.P.S. Narayan, explaining the RayV purchase.
- No acquisition price is given. Most of RayV's team will join Yahoo's Tel Aviv R&D center.
- The WSJ reported in May Yahoo is looking to buy RayV, which offers a cloud-based platform for encoding, streaming, and monetizing video. The startup asserts its solution is differentiated by congestion-management tech that can adapt to network conditions.
- The purchase follows reports plans to launch a YouTube rival (focused on premium content providers) as part of its efforts to grow video ad inventory, and has bid for leading YouTube network Fullscreen.
Jul. 11, 2014, 11:57 AM
- Yahoo's (YHOO +0.4%) Marissa Mayer and AOL's (AOL -0.1%) Tim Armstrong "talked over drinks into the wee hours Thursday night" at the Sun Valley media conference, the WSJ reports.
- The paper doesn't have details on what the CEOs discussed. The talk is noteworthy in light of widespread speculation Yahoo will bid for AOL using a part of the giant windfall it stands to receive from selling a portion of its 22.6% Alibaba stake at IPO time.
- AOL has a slew of online media and ad network/tech assets that could appeal to Yahoo, and currently trades at just 1.3x 2014E sales. With the notable exception of Tumblr, Yahoo's acquisitions during the Mayer era have generally been smaller purchases meant to reel in technology and/or engineering talent.
- Yesterday: Alibaba's IPO process could start at month's end
Jul. 10, 2014, 6:18 PM
- Alibaba (BABA) could launch its IPO process (roadshow included) at the end of July, sources tell the WSJ. With the process typically taking 2 weeks from start to finish, an IPO could happen around mid-August.
- Bloomberg reported in June Alibaba was eying an Aug. 8 IPO. The Chinese e-commerce Chinese is believed to be mulling a $20B+ offering.
- Yahoo (YHOO), whose Q2 results arrive on July 15, is required to sell a decent chunk of its 22.6% stake at IPO time. Many on the Street are hoping details will be given on the Q2 CC about Yahoo's plans for the windfall. Topeka estimates post-tax proceeds from Yahoo's IPO share sale of $9B.
Jun. 30, 2014, 6:14 PM
- Yahoo (YHOO) plans to air a 13-episode sixth season of comedy series Community, which last month was canceled by NBC. The cult show's star actors are on board, as are its executive producers.
- Yahoo has made original programming a key part of its effort to grow its video views and ad inventory. A high-profile deal with Katie Couric was struck last November, and the WSJ reported in April Yahoo plans to commission 4 new TV programs, with a willingness to pay $700K to "a few million dollars" per episode.
- More recently, Yahoo was reported to have bid $250M for leading YouTube content provider Fullscreen.
Jun. 30, 2014, 8:05 AM
Jun. 27, 2014, 1:45 AM
- Yahoo (YHOO) is looking to buy YouTube content provider Fullscreen, and has put in a bid for $250M, Sky News reports. Fullscreen has 380M subscribers and draws over 3B monthly video views on YouTube.
- Fullscreen is backed by Peter Chernin, who is said to have the right to purchase the company at a previously negotiated price, unless another bidder offers over $300M. Fullsceen generated $50-70M in revenue last year.
- YHOO +0.1% AH
Jun. 17, 2014, 6:12 PM
- Tumblr's (YHOO -1.1%) Sponsored Post ads are set to begin appearing on Yahoo News, Yahoo Beauty, and other properties in the Web giant's empire.
- The ads will be offered via Yahoo's recently-launched Gemini ad marketplace, which integrates mobile search and native ad inventory. At the same time, Yahoo plans to phase out standard mobile banner ads, notorious for their low prices and accidental clicks.
- The effort is part of a push by Yahoo to shore up slumping display ad sales by embracing native ad formats. Healthy uptake for the company's Stream ads contributed to Yahoo's better-than-expected Q1 display numbers.
- Shares added to yesterday's losses amid continued worries about Alibaba's (ABABA) Q1. In addition to top-line concerns - calendar Q1 rev. growth was 39% Y/Y, down from the 66% reported (by Yahoo) for calendar Q4 - some are on edge over a 600 bps Y/Y drop in Alibaba's op. margin to 45.3%. Alibaba attributed the decline to higher Web/mobile marketing spend.
- MKM is reiterating a Buy and $45 PT for Yahoo. The firm states the Alibaba numbers only affect its Yahoo valuation framework by $0.50/share, and thinks shares could see "another leg" higher thanks to Alibaba's roadshow and post-IPO valuation.
- MKM chalks up Alibaba's near-term slowdown to mobile transition issues (i.e. a lower mobile take rate) that can be handled in time. It thinks mobile take rate is for now ~1/3 of PC levels.
Jun. 16, 2014, 9:35 AM
- Alibaba (ABABA) had a GMV of RMB430B ($69.1B) for seasonally weak Q1, -19% Q/Q and +46% Y/Y. The Y/Y growth rate slipped from Q4's 53%.
- Active buyers grew 10% Q/Q to 255M. Mobile accounted for 27.4% of GMV, up from 19.7% in Q4 and 10.7% a year ago. Mobile MAUs +20% Q/Q to 163M.
- For the year ending March 31, Alibaba had revenue of $8.45B (+52% Y/Y), and adjusted net income of $4.44B. Free cash flow was $5.19B. Revenue growth slowed a bit from the 57% seen for the 9 months ending Dec. 31.
- Alibaba's Taobao (consumer-to-consumer) marketplace had a Q1 GMV of RMB295B (+32% Y/Y, 69% of total), and its Tmall site (business-to-consumer) a GMV of RMB135B (+90% Y/Y, 31% of total).
- Yahoo (YHOO) isn't responding well to the numbers. Alibaba still hasn't proposed a symbol or valuation. The company is reportedly looking to go public in early August.
- Alibaba's revised F-1
- Update: The figures imply calendar Q1 revenue of $1.93B, +39% Y/Y. That represents a big slowdown from the 66% growth reported for Q4.
Jun. 11, 2014, 2:39 PM
- Acquisition-hungry Alibaba (ABABA) is buying the 1/3 of top Chinese mobile browser vendor UCWeb it doesn't yet own for a mixture of cash and stock. The price hasn't been disclosed, but Alibaba claims the deal is the biggest Chinese Web merger in history, exceeding Baidu's (BIDU +0.4%) $1.9B purchase of app store provider 91 Wireless.
- UCWeb has a 50%+ share of the Chinese mobile browser market, and also has 35% of the Indian market. The company claims 500M total browser users, as well as 50M users for its Android app store, which competes against Baidu and Qihoo's (QIHU +3.8%) popular stores.
- More importantly for Baidu (and also relevant for Qihoo), UCWeb claims a 20%+ share of the Chinese mobile search market on the back of 100M active users. A mobile search JV was launched with Alibaba in April.
- Meanwhile, CNBC reports Alibaba will likely file a new F-1 early next week that includes its Q1 results. Odds are Yahoo (YHOO +0.6%), which has been reporting Alibaba's results a quarter in arrears, will move on the numbers.
- CNBC adds Alibaba is still expected to go public in the first week of August. Bloomberg previously reported Alibaba is eying an Aug. 8 IPO.
Jun. 4, 2014, 12:16 PM
- MacRumors observes Apple has replaced Yahoo (YHOO +0.3%) as the data provider for its pre-installed iPhone Weather app in iOS 8 (due this fall), in favor of The Weather Channel.
- Though Yahoo claims to have 400M+ mobile monthly active users, many of them stem from its data integration deals for the iPhone's Weather and Stocks apps, which feature no ads.
- Apple's move comes in spite of a 2013 WSJ report stating the mobile giant and Yahoo were discussing an expanded iOS partnership. The change coincides with a decision to replace Google as the Web search provider for iOS/Mac OS' Spotlight search feature in favor of Bing.
- Yahoo's own Weather app has been widely praised.
May. 28, 2014, 1:58 PM
- Asked whether he supported Microsoft's (MSFT -0.4%) oft-criticized $7.2B acquisition of Nokia's phone unit when it was first struck, Satya Nadella declined to answer during a Code Conference talk (live blog).
- Bloomberg previously reported Nadella and Bill Gates (among others) voiced objections to the deal, and that Steve Ballmer was its driving force.
- Nadella declared Microsoft has no plans to sell Bing, which has generated huge losses over much of its history, to partner Yahoo (YHOO -0.7%). Marissa Mayer has expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of the Bing/Yahoo partnership (set to last until 2020), and has reportedly launched search tech projects meant to lower Yahoo's Bing dependence.
- Nadella also: 1) Asserted he has "no intent to do anything different on Xbox" than what Microsoft's doing today. 2) Stated Gates, who recently promised to spend over 1/3 of his available time at Microsoft, has "got some specific interest in Office and how to reinvent it."
- Separately, Microsoft is acquiring Capptain, a developer of analytics/usage-monitoring tools for app developers. Microsoft says it will integrate Capptain's offerings with its Azure cloud app platform (PaaS) services. The company has already rolled out a slew of new Azure tools this year.
May. 27, 2014, 7:19 PM
- Yahoo (YHOO) is "ramping talks with video producers" ahead of a planned summer launch for a would-be YouTube (GOOG) rival, AdAge reports.
- Backing up a March re/code report, AdAge's sources state Yahoo is looking to lure top YouTube content creators with a choice of either better ad splits - YouTube normally takes 45% - or a fixed ad rate 50%-100% higher than YouTube's average net rate. Yahoo is also comfortable allowing creators to simultaneously upload to YouTube.
- While some creators are interested, others are said to be lukewarm, given their ad rates are currently well above the YouTube average. Moreover, YouTube recently launched a program (Google Preferred) that allows brand advertisers to buy ads for top creators alone.
- Moreover, creators have reportedly bristled over some of Yahoo's initial demands, such as giving Yahoo a perpetual license to videos shared on Tumblr. One producer: "Anyone who's done a content deal knows that would never fly."
- Yahoo, bent on growing its video ad inventory, has already struck a high-profile deal with Katie Couric and has begun dabbling in original content. More recently, the company was reported to be a near a deal for streaming software/services firm RayV.
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