NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Yahoo! Inc (YHOO) were lower by 0.54% to $42.46 in early market trading Wednesday, after the company was downgraded to "hold" from "buy" by analysts at Evercore ISI earlier this morning.
The firm also lowered its price target on shares of the technology giant to $48 from its prior $55 objective, ahead of Yahoo's spin-off of Alibaba Group Holding (BABA).
Evercore analysts believe the Alibaba spin-off will face greater regulatory attention, following comments by an Internal Revenue Service official last week that raised concerns about the tax-efficiency of the move.
Analysts at the firm added that Yahoo's 35% stake in Yahoo! Japan (YAHOY) would also be impacted.
Last week, Yahoo! reaffirmed its spin-off plans despite the comments by the IRS.
The company said in a statement that its request was filed in the first quarter of 2015, and would not be impacted by any changes suggested by the agency.
It added that the IRS statement is not specific to Yahoo's spinoff of its remaining stake in Alibaba Group and Yahoo Small Business.
Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo! is a global technology company, delivering digital content and experiences, across devices and globally.
The company provides online properties and services to users, as well as a range of marketing services.
Separately, 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 multiple 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 revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- YHOO's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 5.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.2%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
- Although YHOO's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.04 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 4.44, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
- The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Internet Software & Services industry and the overall market, YAHOO INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- Compared to its closing price of one year ago, YHOO's share price has jumped by 27.09%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Turning to the future, naturally, any stock can fall in a major bear market. However, in almost any other environment, the stock should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed nice gains in the past year.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: YHOO Ratings Report