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It's been a challenging year for
YHOO), but you wouldn't know it from this stock's price action. Yahoo! has rallied more than 47% year-to-date, buoyed by major changes in the firm's structure -- and conspicuous leadership from CEO Marissa Mayer. But Yahoo!'s new logo is a good metaphor for the transformation at the company: The new logo was announced with much excitement, but most users probably wouldn't have noticed it otherwise.
Arguably paying too much for Tumblr, and still lacking a real unique selling proposition the new Yahoo! looks way too much like the old Yahoo!.
But while this stock built a reputation for being a dot-com era dinosaur, investors neglected the fact that this stock has had a really attractive business all along. Despite some big missteps, Yahoo! remains one of the biggest destinations on the internet, and all those eyes on its Web sites contribute to hefty net profit margins from operations.
Yahoo!'s cash position has been a blessing and a curse for investors in the last few years. A brilliant investment in Alibaba has contributed to a cash and investment position of more than $7.6 billion at last count, covering more than a quarter of YHOO's market cap. While that does help to reduce risk, Yahoo! either needs to figure out internal investments that yield meaningful rates of return, or give the money back to shareholders.
Just don't underestimate this stock's potential in 2013; Yahoo! may be a dinosaur, but at least it's a T-Rex.