Microhoo: reading the tea leaves
With Yahoo shares trading just above $20, investors must be desperate for any sign that buyout talks with Microsoft could be resuscitated. It’s been relatively quiet since Yahoo struck the Google ad deal — with nary a peep from the usually loquacious activist investor Carl Icahn, who has been blogging about CEO pay but keeping silent on where he will take his Yahoo proxy battle.
So it’s no surprise that Yahoo shares jumped as much as 15 percent on Tuesday after TechCrunch reported that Microsoft and Yahoo are back in takeover talks, citing multiple sources at both companies.
But investors’ hopes were short-lived with CNBC quickly knocking down that rumor, saying its source thinks there are no new negotiations between Microsoft and Yahoo.
Meanwhile, CNET on Monday raised the possibility of a sweeter offer from Microsoft for a partial buyout.
With so many rumors flying about, Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Jeffrey Lindsay tells Reuters correspondent Eric Auchard that Yahoo and Microsoft continue to hold low level talks but says people are attributing huge outcomes to very small pieces of information.
In this situation, there is so much disinformation about what is going on.
All these things are going on at the same time. Right now we are too much in the middle of it to really see what is going on.
We can see the end game and we know where we are now, but we just can’t see how we are going to get there yet.
We think Microsoft will still buy Yahoo at the end of the day. It may be months after the annual meeting (on Aug. 1).
If Microsoft doesn’t acquire Yahoo, it has almost zero chance of an online play. Yahoo on its own can’t get close to the value that a Microsoft transaction would give it.
Who do you believe?
(Photo: REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak)