'Fast Money' Recap: An Uncertain Future for Yahoo!, Etsy's Big Drop, Patience First With Real Estate

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Technology giant Yahoo!'s (YHOO) future grew a lot murkier today. 

The CNBC "Fast Money" panel discussed an IRS announcement that might subject the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company to extra taxes when it sells its interest in Chinese e-commerce specialist Alibaba (BABA). The panel agreed that the results of the IRS announcement were difficult to predict and that there was no reason to buy shares of Yahoo! immediately.

"Until we get some clarity on this issue, I wouldn't jump in right here," said panelist Karen Finerman, co-founder of Metropolitan Capital Advisors. 

Panelist Steve Grasso, director of institutional sales at Stuart Frankel & Co., added that "there was a hell of a lot of room" for the stock price "to fall." 

Yahoo! and Alibaba shares have dropped 18% and 15%, respectively, over the past year.

But the panel also discussed the possibility that investors would begin to look at Alibaba first instead of Yahoo! as a buying opportunity. 

Guest Bob Peck, a managing director at SunTrust Robinson, said the tax implications for Yahoo! "were already being priced in." He said that his firm had a target price of 59 for Yahoo! and called the company, including Alibaba an "opportunity for investors." "You're getting the core for free and actually at a steep discount," Peck said. 

Peck called the IRS announcement "ambiguous."

Panelist Brian Kelly, founder and managing member of Brian Kelly Capital, added that potential action by the IRS "would be hanging around for a while." 

The panel addressed a Fast Money Halftime interview with Carl Icahn on Tuesday. The activist investor and chairman of Icahn Enterprises recently sent Apple  ( APPL) CEO Tim Cook an open letter asking the company to increase its stock buyback program from $90 to $140 billion. Icahn called the idea "a no-brainer." 

During the interview, Icahn said he expects Apple to develop a television, a product that has long been discussed but yet to reach markets. But Grasso did not think Apple would proceed with this initiative. "To have something hanging on the wall is a misfit," he said. 

The panelists disagreed about purchasing shares of iconic retailer  Wal-Mart ( WMT)

Retailers and supermarket chains are coming off weak quarters. Such companies as Kohl's (KSS), Whole Foods (WFM) and Dillards (DDS) have seen their stock prices drop in recent weeks. Finerman said she had just sold shares of Macy's (M).


Finerman, who owns shares in Children's Place, said she was irritated by the company's scheduling of its annual meeting to an earlier date than usual. She called Children's Place "a great property" and "a great takeover or [leveraged buyout] candidate."

Software and services provider Salesforce (CRM) has been the subject of take-over speculation. Some investors have been placing options for June after a potential deal. that could lead to a spike in the stock price. But Grasso said that "if there's no announcement, people will be selling." 

Etsy (ETSY) reported disappointing earnings in its first quarter as a publicly traded company. Etsy's stock price dipped about 18% on the day. But in a call with investors, the New York-based online realtor said that its gross merchandising sales rose 22% year over year to 532$ million. It also said that active sellers were up 26% and active buyers increased 37% year over year. 

Tom Forte, an analyst with Brean Capital, called Etsy "a compelling" buying opportunity. He said that a strong dollar and planned increases in expenditures for marketing and inventory had detracted investors. But the panel said it was best not to buy yet. Kelly advised viewers "to buy on the way up when there's momentum." 

In final trades, panelist Dan Nathan, co-founder and editor of RiskReversal, an investment services group, said it was time to sell shares of SPDR Series Trust SPDR Homebuilders ETF (XHB). The fund closed at $36.53 a share. "You take the profits or maybe even a short to 35," Nathan said. 

Kelly favored buying Whirlpool. "I actually like Whirlpool," Kelly said. 

Finerman reiterated her hopefulness about the future of Children's Place. "I would like to see a new direction on the Place board," she said. "I think we have the chance to get that. I'm long. 

Grasso was long on DuPont (DD). The company has just emerged from a bitter dispute with activist investor Nelson Peltz, spending more than $15 million to defeat a slate of candidates Peltz proposed for DuPont's 12-person board. "I'm still long on the name," Grasso said that even without Peltz's pressure to make changes, DuPont was "still going to be forced to do something."

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