Yahoo! Shares Kicks Up On Activist Investor Letter: Tech Winners & Losers

SAN FRANCISCO (TheStreet) – Yahoo! (YHOO) at some point may want to invest in this app that allows users to be left alone. It may find it works for companies too. The internet giant has once again attracted a significant investor who wants to be its merger matchmaker. This time, it's Starboard Value Partners who wants to sync it up with AOL (AOL) , rather than Carl Icahn pushing for a Microsoft deal.

In a letter to Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer and the company's directors, Starboard outlined its desire to see various plans put into play to increase shareholder value. One of them includes exploring a strategic combination with AOL. Starboard, in essence, put Yahoo! in play with its actions.

That in turn kicked its shares higher, rising 4.39% to close at $40.66 a share Friday. The company's share price, which had been on the decline for a couple days after Alibaba (BABA) launched its IPO late last week has slowly been gaining some traction and today closed around the level it was trading on the day Alibaba went public.

Investors are likely in for more significant stock gyrations as the Starboard hoopla plays out.


BlackBerry (BBRY) also pulled ahead during the day, driven by a strong quarterly performance. Shares of BlackBerry rose 4.69% to close at $10.26 .

The smartphone maker is fighting to make a comeback, as it sits in the shadow of Apple's (AAPL) iPhone and the plethora of Android phones. It recently hunkered down and refocused on its sweet spot - the corporate user - with the introduction of its Passport phone. On the earnings call, CEO John Chen said the company has already taken pre-orders for 200,000 Passport phones.

While BlackBerry's latest quarterly results didn't capture sales of the newly debuted Passport, it nonetheless posted a quarter where it generated $916 million in revenue and an adjusted loss of 2 cents a share. Chen believes the company is on track to continue to squeeze out a breakeven cash flow story through the end of the fiscal year.
 


Shares of Micron Technology (MU) rose 6.75% to close the day at $33.84.

The chip maker got a boost following its earnings report, in which it gave a strong forecast for the fiscal 2015 period. For the quarter that just ended, the company reported revenues of $4.28 billion and earnings of 96 cents a share. 

And for the full fiscal year, Micron saw its revenues rise 80% to $16.4 billion, with earnings up nearly 250% to $2.54 a share.

With such a strong performance, JMP increased its price target for the company, bumping it up to $39 a share. 

At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

TheStreet Ratings team rates YAHOO INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate YAHOO INC (YHOO) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: YHOO Ratings Report

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