How many times can a company flub a turnaround and stay relevant? Yahoo (YHOO) may well have nine lives in that regard, after losing its third CEO in three years in a fight with its own investors. Still, analysts say, don’t count out the Internet pioneer, which remains a heavyweight online at the global level.
Yahoo is a digital media company that delivers personalized digital content and experiences across devices and around the globe. The company provides online properties and services to users as well as a range of marketing services designed to reach and connect with those users on Yahoo and through a distribution network of third-party entities. These affiliates integrate advertising offerings into their websites or other offerings.
Yahoo generates revenue from display advertising, text-based links to advertisers’ websites, and other sources. Its offerings to users on Yahoo! Properties currently fall into three categories: communications and communities; search and marketplaces; and media.
“During 2011, our board of directors initiated a comprehensive strategic review to assess alternatives to return the company to increased growth and innovation. As part of this review, we have pursued a wide range of discussions with potential partners,” management said in a recent filing.
“We are in discussions regarding the possibility of restructuring our holdings in Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan,” Yahoo said in December. On May 20, 2012 it announced a $7.1 billion deal to partially extricate itself from Alibaba, which operates in China.
Earlier in the year, a PR flap over CEO Scott Thompson’s work history led to his decision to step down from the top spot. Global media head Ross Levinsohn is interim CEO.
Yahoo has a market cap of $18.59 billion in a sector, Internet software and services, where the average company size is $7.14 billion. Its trailing 12-month P/E ratio is 17.33 and its five-year projected price-to-earnings-growth (PEG) ratio is 1.32, compared to 1.38 for the sector.
Its projected earnings per share growth for the coming year is 15.46 percent, compared to a sector average of 30.82 percent.
Analysts are bullish on Yahoo, despite the turmoil, or perhaps on expectations that the shakeup was overdue. Rating the stock at buy or outperform are Needham & Co., Stifel Nicolaus, Standard & Poor’s, Columbine Capital Services and Market Edge. Goldman Sachs rates the stock a sell.
"We see considerable value not only in YHOO's major investments in Asian companies, but also associated with proprietary content and intellectual property and patents. Our valuation assessment does not account for the potential for a turnaround, which we think is possible given new management and a greater focus on streamlining operations and execution,” S&P analysts wrote in mid-May.
Yahoo next reports on July 17.
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