Breakingviews

Yahoo a good bet for Barry Diller’s menagerie

December 9, 2015

The flailing internet firm scrapped plans to spin off its Alibaba stake and may split its search and advertising unit instead. The media mogul’s assorted online businesses could be a logical home, as might Verizon, owner of AOL. In truth, almost any deal would be a win for Yahoo.

Yahoo sale would carry a warning from print

December 3, 2015

The internet company may be putting itself on the block. Private equity is interested – and perhaps in L.A. Times parent Tribune, too. Both are plagued by a long-term decline in advertising revenue. LBO shops fell victim to that disease with newspapers a decade ago.

Yahoo CEO has run out of time for a turnaround

December 2, 2015

After three years, it’s clear neither Marissa Mayer – nor maybe any top executive – can save the flailing internet company. The board’s job now should be to determine the best way to tidy up the firm’s affairs. Mayer’s best legacy may be that she got a good price for the core business.

Starboard’s Yahoo flip-flop misses the point

November 19, 2015

The pushy investor now wants the $31 bln tech company to offload its main business instead of its Alibaba holding. A switcheroo won’t erase a discount and residual tax liability on the stake. However it’s engineered, the real problems for Yahoo boss Marissa Mayer will remain.

Yahoo needs truth rather than report from McKinsey

November 9, 2015

The struggling internet site has hired the firm for advice on new opportunities. It’s unclear, though, what management consultants can do to arrest the company’s descent that a procession of CEOs hasn’t already tried. A blunt memo recommending a sale would make better reading.

Yahoo’s Alibaba spinoff troubles may outlast boss

September 29, 2015

Marissa Mayer plans to complete the internet firm’s separation from the Chinese e-commerce company. Resolving tax issues may take years, though, if authorities challenge the deal. With Yahoo’s business stagnant and competition rising, the CEO may be gone before wrangling ends.

Yahoo’s Alibaba spinoff attracts big discount

February 12, 2015

The company’s plan to distribute its stake in the Chinese company hasn’t excited investors. A Breakingviews calculator suggests they are attaching a 34 pct discount to the U.S. tech firm’s Alibaba shares – assuming Yahoo’s core business is worth something. That’s too cautious.

Yahoo’s Mayer nears post-Alibaba reckoning

July 31, 2014

A stake in the Chinese e-commerce group makes up over half the U.S. internet firm’s value, a Breakingviews calculator shows. When investors can buy Alibaba shares directly - potentially next month - Yahoo chief Marissa Mayer will find herself under a narrower, brighter spotlight.

Yahoo’s Alibaba windfall tough to spend wisely

May 8, 2014

After selling part of its stake in the Chinese company’s mega-IPO, Yahoo could have $12 bln in cash. Buybacks have been getting pricier, and with Alibaba stock traded separately the U.S. firm may be tempted to throw money at its own business – whatever that may actually be.

Microsoft ought to kick off search for Bing buyer

July 22, 2011

Microsoft needs to concentrate on a different kind of search: finding a buyer for Bing, its online search business. The division that houses Bing lost $2.6 billion in the latest fiscal year. Facebook, or even Apple, might make a better home for Bing. And a sale would be a boon for Microsoft's investors.