JMP Securities had a "fireside chat" with Yahoo! CFO Ken Goldman on Monday. The firm maintained its "market perform" rating but stated it would monitor the company's operations before it would upgrade the stock.
"We believe Yahoo! is focused more on revenue growth now that overall engagement is growing and as many of its products have been revamped and some of the key drivers of this growth are likely to come from Tumblr monetization, a ramp in Stream ads, mobile, and video, among others," the firm said in a research note. "Other takeaways from our fireside chat include: 1) Search & Yahoo!'s continued investment here; 2) that 'acqui-hires' are likely to continue, but that Yahoo! may be looking at larger, more meaningful acquisitions to drive revenue growth; 3) a disciplined investment cycle; and 4) that buybacks are likely to continue.
"We continue to look for more tangible signs of operational improvement at Yahoo! before we can become more positive on shares, although we recognize the value of Yahoo!'s Asian assets."
Bank of America, meanwhile, noted Yahoo! could trade up to $45 after the firm predicted that Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce company in which Yahoo! owns a 24% stake, could launch an IPO within the next two months.
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