One thing Mayer has going for her is the billions in cash Yahoo! received in the deal to sell a part of its
stake, not to mention to the significant holdings it still has left. Yahoo! had approximately $7.89 a share in cash at the end of the September quarter, according to BGC Partners analyst Collin Gillis. Gillis also noted that the "market value of Yahoo's 35% stake in Yahoo! Japan and approximately 24% stake in Alibaba.com was valued on September 30, 2012 at $15.84B, approximately $13.25/share." Those two add up to over $21 per share, suggesting the market is not valuing core Yahoo! at much, if anything at all.
Munster, like many on Wall Street, is looking to see if Yahoo! will talk about how to allocate some of this significant cash hoard towards acquisitions to strengthen its properties. There have been a few small "acqui-hires," including
, an iPhone app purchased in October, and
, purchased in December.
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executive will have to show more detail on her plan to fix the company. J.P. Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth wants to see "more granularity" on how Mayer intends to turn Yahoo! around. In a research note, Anmuth explained that he wants to hear about Yahoo!'s plans to reinvigorate search and display, its investment strategy, new talent recruitment efforts, and what new CFO Ken Goldman has to say. Anmuth rates Yahoo! "neutral" with a $19 price target.
There's also the question of the search deal with
(MSFT - Get Report)
, which could expire at the end of the first quarter. Mayer has repeatedly said she's happy with the deal, but also noted there's been some disappointment as well. "From my perspective on the strategic alliance, we have been happy working with Microsoft. The teams actually work quite well together. We experienced some disappointment on the monetization side, which is why the revenue guarantee is in place and why we're benefiting from it," Mayer said on the third quarter earnings call.
I want to see the actual results later today before I go writing any apology cards or love ballads.
Interested in more on Yahoo!? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for
Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York