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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
July 16, 2014
12:47 EDTYHOO, GOOG, AOL, MSFTYahoo falls after results disappoint, details additional plans for Alibaba stake
Shares of media and search engine company Yahoo (YHOO) are falling after the company's second quarter results fell short of analysts' consensus estimates. The company also said it will lower the amount of stock it will sell in Alibaba's initial public offering to 140M shares and that it plans to return "at least half" of its after-tax proceeds from the stake sale to its shareholders. WHAT'S NEW: Last night, Yahoo reported Q2 earnings per share of 37c and revenue ex-tac of $1.04B, narrowly missing analysts' consensus estimates of 38c and $1.08B, respectively. The company's Q2 display ad revenue fell 7% to $394M, while Q2 price per ad fell 24% versus last year. Q2 search revenue ex-tac increased 6% to $428M. Yahoo said that in Q2, the number of ads sold increased approximately 24% compared to last year, while the number of paid clicks increased approximately 3%. Price-per-click increased 15% compared to last year. Marissa Mayer, Yahoo's Chief Executive Officer, said that as the company's top priority is revenue growth, it is "not satisfied" with Q2 results. Mayer noted that several areas showed strength in the quarter, including Yahoo Search, which grew 6% year-over-year on a revenue ex-tac basis, but their growth was offset by declines. Meyer says the company needs to "work faster to ameliorate" negative trends in display. Mayer says the company "can and will do better" going forward. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Looking ahead, Yahoo forecast third quarter revenue ex-tac of $1.02B-$1.06B, below the consensus of $1.1B. The company also guided Q3 adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBTIDA, at $220M-$260M and non-GAAP operating income of $70M-$110M. Yahoo also noted that it will lower the number of shares it sells in the Alibaba IPO to 140M from 208M, and is committed to return at least half of the after-tax IPO proceeds to shareholders. Mayer noted on the company's earnings conference call that "A transformation of this size will take several years," adding that "it will take a little longer than originally forecasted." ANALYST REACTION: This morning, research firm CRT Capital downgraded Yahoo to Fair Value from Buy, citing mixed Q2 earnings and weak guidance. The firm sees pressure on ad pricing continuing for at at least two to three quarters. Another firm, Bernstein, lowered their price target on Yahoo to $40 from $43 following the company's weaker than expected results and said that it would return 50% of its proceeds from the Alibaba IPO to shareholders. The firm thinks there is an increased risk that Yahoo will use the other 50% on M&A, and Bernstein sees high risk that the M&A will destroy value. Bernstein kept an Outperform rating on the stock. Piper Jaffray said Yahoo should be owned ahead of the Alibaba IPO, noting its agreement with Alibaba to reduce the number of shares it will sell at the IPO should outweigh the "unsurprising" challenges in the company's core business. The firm, which kept an Overweight rating on the stock, expects the stock to react positively on the Q2 earnings report. PRICE ACTION: In early afternoon trading, Yahoo fell $1.66, or about 4.7%, to $33.95 on heavy trading volume. Despite today's pull back, the stock is up approximately 25% over the past 12 months. OTHERS TO WATCH: Yahoo peer AOL (AOL) is down over 4.% to $38.98. Jackie Reses, Yahoo's chief of mergers and acquisitions, said at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech Conference that the company is not planning to buy AOL, Re/code reported this morning. Mayer previously told a number of people that she does not "get" the merger.
News For YHOO;GOOG;AOL;MSFT From The Last 14 Days
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October 14, 2014
06:36 EDTGOOG'Double Irish' tax arrangement poised to halt, itnews says
Ireland is positioned to enact legal revisions soon that will slowly cease its "Double Irish" tax agreement, which has allowed companies like Google (GOOG) and Apple (AAPL) to not spend billions of dollars worth of taxes, according to itnews, citing, two sources familiar with the situation. Reference Link
06:32 EDTMSFTMicrosoft says hit 1M registrants to test Windows 10 preview version
Microsoft says on its Windows blog that it hit 1M registrants for the Windows Insider Program to test the preview version of Windows 10. The company says it has received 200,000 items of user feedback. Reference Link
06:19 EDTGOOGGoogle expands Express delivery service, to charge membership fee
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06:02 EDTGOOGGoogle may be leading $500M funding round for Magic Leap, Re/code reports
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October 13, 2014
16:33 EDTMSFTMicrosoft and Salesforce.com unveil new joint solutions
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16:04 EDTMSFTSkullcandy announces two ASTRO headsets compatible with Xbox One
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15:06 EDTGOOGGoogle confirms limited test of online medical advice, Washington Post reports
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13:53 EDTGOOGYouTube to open New York video production studio
Google's YouTube announced that it would open a new video production studio in New York next month. YouTube already has video production facilities in London, Los Angeles and Tokyo.
13:10 EDTMSFT, YHOO, GOOGGoogle's Schmidt says Amazon is company's biggest search rival, FT reports
Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google (GOOG), says Amazon (AMZN) is his company's biggest rival in search, not Bing (MSFT) or Yahoo (YHOO), the Financial Times reports. Schmidt also argued in Berlin that Google should not be regulated "as if it were the gatekeeper of the internet," given the influence of Amazon and Facebook (FB). Reference Link
12:13 EDTYHOO, AOLYahoo upgraded as BGC sees higher chances for tax efficient monetization
Research firm BGC Partners upgraded its rating on Yahoo (YHOO) to Buy from Hold, saying that the chances of the company monetizing its assets in a more tax efficient manner have increased now that Alibaba (BABA) has come public. Among the possible scenarios, Yahoo may be acquired by Alibaba, the firm added. WHAT'S NEW: Yahoo's chances of paying a relatively low tax rate on the sale of its stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan, a Japanese Internet company, have risen, BGC Financial analyst Colin Gillis stated. Yahoo could owe up to $15B of taxes on its sale of the assets, the analyst estimated. If Yahoo pays full tax liability, its stakes would be worth $43.5B. If it pays no taxes, the assets would be worth $58.5B, he estimated. Gillis set his price target on Yahoo at $50, representing the midpoint of the two scenarios, he stated. Among various scenarios that could play out, Alibaba could choose to buy Yahoo and subsequently unload Yahoo's core business and the American company's stake in Yahoo Japan, the analyst said. Yahoo shareholders could receive cash and shares of Alibaba as part of such a deal, Gillis stated. If Yahoo is not acquired by Alibaba, the American company should combine with AOL (AOL), as recently proposed by activist investor Starboard Value, Gillis contended. Merging with AOL could accelerate Yahoo's revenue growth by over 50% and increase its EBITDA by over 35%, Gillis estimated. PRICE ACTION: In early afternoon trading, Yahoo fell 1% to $39.18.
10:08 EDTYHOOOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
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09:28 EDTYHOOYahoo upgraded to Buy from Hold at BGC Financial
BGC Financial analyst Colin Gillis upgraded his rating on Yahoo (YHOO) shares to Buy saying the company's remaining assets should get monetized in a more tax efficient manner now that Alibaba (BABA) is public. Gillis also points out that Alibaba could see benefits from acquiring Yahoo. He raised his price target for Yahoo shares to $50 from $37.
09:09 EDTMSFTMicrosoft Q1 results likely to beat expectations, says Bernstein
Bernstein believes that Microsoft's cloud business continues to grow, and it expects adoption of the company's cloud products to accelerate this quarter. The firm reiterates a $56 price target and Outperform rating on the shares.
08:06 EDTGOOGQihoo 360 launches ad exchange platform, Marbridge Daily reports
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07:57 EDTGOOGGoogle price target lowered to $650 from $685 at Cowen
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07:53 EDTGOOGYouTube changes have diffused much of tension with copyright holders, FT says
YouTube, which implemented Content ID in 2007 to help producers manage their rights and generate revenues from copyright-infringing content, has hit $1B in payments to companies that participate in the program and Fred von Lohmann, legal director for copyright at Google, credits the program for diffusing much of the tension the site previously had with copyright holders, reported Financial Times. Via Content ID, copyright owners can “monetize” their content by allowing ads to be sold against it or have the video blocked and taken down and von Lohmann told Financial Times that the "vast majority" choose to monetize. Reference Link
07:22 EDTGOOGSony/ATV could ditch licensing firms due to streaming dollars, NY Post reports
Sony/ATV Music Publishing (SNE) is considering no longer dealing with performance rights groups BMI and ASCP, and instead negotiating directly with online music services like Pandora (P), YouTube (GOOG) and Spotify due to outdated rules and low royalties, the New York Post reports. Reference Link
07:15 EDTMSFTNational Association of Corporate Directors to hold a conference
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06:44 EDTGOOGGoogle testing feature that allows video chats with doctors, Engadget reports
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06:44 EDTGOOGGoogle could announce new Nexus tablet on October 15, 9to5Google reports
Google's new Nexus tablet may be announced on Wednesday, October 15, 9to5Google reports, citing Bright Side of News. The HTC-made tablet is rumored to cost $400. Reference Link
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