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.
May. 20, 2014, 5:26 PM
- RayV offers a cloud-based platform for encoding, delivering, and monetizing professional-grade Web/mobile video. The company asserts its proprietary congestion control tech (adapts to network conditions) allows it to outperform YouTube and Netflix.
- The WSJ reports Yahoo (YHOO) is "close to finalizing" an acquisition of RayV, and notes its technology could bolster Yahoo's video-streaming infrastructure.
- Yahoo has struck multiple high-profile deals to expand its professional video inventory (a priority of Marissa Mayer's), and is also reportedly looking to poach top YouTube talent. At the same time, the company has been thwarted in its efforts to acquire Hulu and Dailymotion.
- The WSJ reported in March Yahoo was in preliminary talks to buy leading video syndication platform NDN.
May. 19, 2014, 4:05 PM
- Citing sources, CNBC reports Alibaba (ABABA) "could look to make its stock market debut the first week of August."
- The company reportedly expects to receive feedback from the SEC about its F-1 filing (published two weeks ago) as soon as June 7, and then "spend a few weeks correcting or clarifying any issues raised." Presumably, Alibaba would then launch its IPO roadshow.
- Yahoo (YHOO +1.4%) followed Internet peers higher today. The company sold off after Alibaba filed its F-1, but rallied in April after posting Alibaba's Q4 numbers.
- The Q4 figures led some of the sell-side to argue a $200B+ post-IPO valuation is possible. The recent selloff in Chinese Internet stocks might temper Alibaba's multiples a bit.
- Related tickers: SFTBF, SFTBY
May. 19, 2014, 11:59 AM
- Yahoo Japan (YAHOF) has abandoned its plan to acquire Japanese mobile/broadband services firm eAccess from SoftBank (SFTBF) for $3.2B (previous). Instead, the company will launch a low-cost mobile broadband service using eAccess' network.
- The eAccess deal was part of an effort by SoftBank, which owns 42.6% of Yahoo Japan, to restructure its assets and raise funds for M&A (including a possible Sprint/T-Mobile merger). But the company is already raising ¥300B in debt, and stands to reap a post-IPO windfall from its 34.4% stake in Alibaba.
- Yahoo (YHOO +0.6%) owns 35% of Yahoo Japan, whose shares fell 2.8% in Tokyo overnight. At current levels, Yahoo's stake is worth $8.1B. Yahoo Japan's sales fell 14% Y/Y in Q4 to $1.03B, and its net income 11% to $304M.
May. 15, 2014, 4:39 PM
- After cutting its Yahoo (YHOO) stake in half to 8M shares in Q4, Dan Loeb's Third Point LLC fully liquidated its position in Q1. (13F).
- Loeb, whose fund once owned 60M Yahoo shares, resigned from the company's board last July as part of a deal to sell back 40M shares to the company. His decision to exit Yahoo comes ahead of Alibaba's much-anticipated IPO.
- Loeb also liquidated the 10M-share BlackBerry (BBRY) position he established in Q4. BBRY -1.6% AH.
- A 4M-share position in Activision (ATVI) and a 1M-share position in NXP (NXPI) were also unloaded. A 2M-share position was taken in Avago (AVGO), as was a 2.55M-share position in Citrix (CTXS) and a 1.6M-share position in Brazilian carrier TIM Participacoes (TSU).
May. 15, 2014, 4:18 AM
- Google (GOOG, GOOGL) has reportedly received requests to exclude links from its search results following the landmark European ruling on Tuesday that the company can be asked not to display information that is old or irrelevant.
- One of the requests came from a politician who wants to suppress links to news articles about him.
- Google and Yahoo (YHOO) are analyzing how they're going to implement the decision amid fears that they're going to be inundated with requests. What doesn't help is that the court ruling doesn't provide too many clear guidelines.
- "It's just such a mind-bogglingly impossible decision," says Indiana University's Fred Cate. "Courts aren't responsible for the practical implications of rulings but this really staggers the imagination."
- Relevant ticker: MSFT
May. 14, 2014, 7:23 AM
- The deal for undisclosed terms comes days after Snapchat settled FTC charges accusing it of deceiving customers by promising photos sent on its service disappeared forever after a certain amount of time.
- Yahoo (YHOO) has yet to comment on the purchase, which was announced on the Blink website, but the deal is the latest in a number of small, mobile start-ups acquired since Marissa Mayer took the helm.
- Snapchat, of course, famously rejected a $3B purchase offer from Facebook late last year.
May. 13, 2014, 4:52 AM
- The European Union Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that Google (GOOG) can be ordered to delete sensitive information, under certain conditions, from its Internet search results if it is requested to do so.
- Google had argued that forcing it to remove data amounted to censorship, although privacy advocates believe that people should be able to delete their digital traces.
- The issue arose after a Spanish man complained that his privacy was infringed when an auction notice of his repossessed home appeared on search results.
- Other relevant tickers: YHOO, MSFT, YNDX, BIDU
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