WHAT'S NEW: Bank of America analyst Justin Post upgraded his rating on Yahoo to Buy from Neutral. Post said he had previously not expected to obtain information about Yahoo's strategy for avoiding taxes on the sale of its stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (BABA) at least until well into 2015. However, Yahoo's CFO recently stated that the company continued to be optimistic that it would be able to cut its tax bill and added that the company would divulge its plans for doing so during its next earnings conference call. Yahoo's next earnings conference call is expected to take place by the end of next month, Post noted. He set a $62 price target on Yahoo shares. Meanwhile, Post downgraded Google to Neutral from Buy. The analyst thinks the company is facing several headwinds, including the maturity of its search business, a lack of products that can provide catalysts, and margin pressures as it invests in competitive businesses. As a result of these headwinds, Google's results are likely to be below expectations, Post believes. Meanwhile, the company is also facing increased regulatory risk, particularly in the EU, and increased competition from Facebook (FB) and other social networks. He trimmed his price target on Google to $580 from $600.
PRICE ACTION: In early trading, Yahoo climbed 1% to $50.94, while Google class A shares declined 1.5% to $534.33.
Reporting by Larry Ramer.