NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Yahoo! ( YHOO) came out with its earnings last night.
At first, the stock sold off 5%. Investors liked that Yahoo! met EPS estimates (shattered them actually), but not that it was light on revenue and guidance for next quarter (although Yahoo! kept its full-year Ebitda guidance intact). However, in part thanks to a Justin Post upgrade this morning on the hope for an Alibaba IPO, the stock made back all those losses and was even up a bit -- even though the rest of the market was in the tank. The stock bounceback reminded me of how Amazon.com ( AMZN) seems to perform every quarter. It "misses" earnings and the stock sells off at first in the after-hours, before roaring back to the green the following day. Are Amazon investors a cult? Sure. I clearly don't understand the forward price-to-earnings ratio of 75x. To me, that behavior is a cult, although I have no problem with Amazon as a company. Perhaps we're seeing Yahoo! become a little more Amazon-like in this way. Is that because of its core business or Marissa Mayer's leadership? No way. I think it's because of the remaining 24% stake in Alibaba Group. Most of the press, sell-side analysts, and non-Yahoo! investors who complain about Yahoo! treat it like it only consists of the core business just like AOL ( AOL) only consists of its core business.
I would say most people who are investors in Yahoo! look at the investments in Alibaba and Yahoo! Japan first and foremost. I think Alibaba IPOs in the second half of this year for over $80 billion. The stake in Yahoo! Japan is worth $10 billion now (pre-tax), double what it was back in December. That means, on an after-tax basis, you're getting the Alibaba and Yahoo! Japan investments, plus Yahoo!'s cash (over $5 billion) for $25 billion out of the total market cap of $26.5 billion. That means at current prices, YHOO's core is only being valued at $1.5 billion. I don't care how bad display ads were in the quarter. That's too cheap!