Thomas Weisel Partners
analyst Gordon Hodge, battered Web portal
could turn positive as quickly as it went negative.
In a research note, Hodge said he believes cost-cutting efforts will position Yahoo! for larger profit margins if the company can beat revenue estimates. Additionally, with
on board as advertisers, the company is headed in the right direction by courting the bigger fish with deeper pockets. And lastly, he thinks efforts like Yahoo! Music and Corporate Yahoo! will give the company more diverse revenue streams that will insulate it from weakness in other parts of its business.
"With the effect of the
Fed rate cuts yet to come and easing comparisons beginning this summer, a company with as much operating leverage such as Yahoo! could turn as quickly positive as it did negative," he wrote.
The analyst reiterated his buy rating on the stock and set a new $30 price target. Yahoo! gained 1.2% to $19.66 in recent trading. That's still well off the company's 52-week-high of $150. The
TheStreet.com Internet Sector Index
, or the DOT, got a boost as Yahoo! led the way, gaining 2.1% to 276.50.
This year, both Yahoo! and the DOT are relatively flat, as investors put their money into industries with more dependable revenue streams. Yahoo! has been going through a major transition, replacing CEO Tim Koogle, and moving into premium services like Yahoo! Corporate. All of this has occurred against the backdrop of a declining online advertising market and the death of many of its dot-com clients.