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Investors Value Yahoo's Core Business At Less Than $0

Soulskill posted about 3 months ago | from the but-they-have-a-new-logo dept.

Yahoo! 150

An anonymous reader writes "Yahoo is most known for its search, email, and news services. But its U.S. web presence is only part of its corporate portfolio. It also owns large stakes in Yahoo Japan and Alibaba (a web services company based in China). Yahoo Japan is publicly traded, and Alibaba is heading toward an IPO, so both have a pretty firm valuation. The thing is: when you account for Yahoo's share of each and subtract them from Yahoo's current market cap, you get a negative number. Investors actually value Yahoo's core business at less than nothing. Bloomberg's Matt Levine explains: 'I guess this is fairly obvious, but it leads you to a general theory of the conglomerate discount, which is that a business can be worth less than zero (to shareholders), but a company can't be (to shareholders). ... A fun question is, as fiduciaries for shareholders, should Yahoo's directors split into three separate companies to maximize value? If YJHI and YAHI are worth around $9 billion and $40 billion, and Core Yahoo Inc. is worth around, I don't know, one penny, then just doing some corporate restructuring should create $13 billion in free shareholder value. Why not do that?'"

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150 comments

Plan B (2)

alphatel (1450715) | about 3 months ago | (#46787165)

1. You sell me Core Yahoo for .01
2. I call Google, Microsoft, and some other loonies.
3. Profit

P.S. I reinvest line 3 into a new company called Mauls where we make solar self-actuating molar embedded mice that navigate as you chatter. Start over at line 2....

Re:Plan B (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787365)

Microsoft is already deep into Yahoo - it is the search. And if that is the core business (I think it is), it just shows how bad Bing is.

And you couldn't sell it to Google or anyone else as the search already belongs to Microsoft...

Now I realize the Yahoo management is trying to rebuild their search, so it is unlikely to "sell" that or break up for that matter.

Re:Plan B (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787507)

I prefer Maull's [maull.com] .

Hurry up (1)

Revek (133289) | about 3 months ago | (#46787547)

and take my money!

breakups damage synergies (4, Informative)

swschrad (312009) | about 3 months ago | (#46787755)

common flaw in greenmailer philosophy... except they only care about the now, and screw the future.

the subsidiary operations that look cash-positive are dependent on services from the core company, and generally share synergies (back-office costs, research, brand value, facilities, yo'momma, whatever) which make them look better on the spreadsheet.

take that away in a breakup, all of a sudden the "haves" are hurting for resources, and need to spend big to replace them. but the experience needed to utilize the resources went with another arm of the octopus.

therefore, (5a): no profit and flounder.

this "unlocking shareholder value" thing is a cloak over the same old pirate uniform.

Re:breakups damage synergies (1)

shaitand (626655) | about 3 months ago | (#46788917)

True enough.

The reason it all exists the way it does it to maximize the appeal of these arms on paper when it comes time to drum up valuation for them or sell them off. Additionally, the way they have it structured likely makes it look like they should owe little to no taxes when that time of year comes.

Re:Plan B (1)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about 3 months ago | (#46787983)

Piezoelectric crowns and fillings? Chew more the lights are getting dim!

Ummm... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787187)

If YJHI and YAHI are worth around $9 billion and $40 billion, and Core Yahoo Inc. is worth around, I don't know, one penny, then just doing some corporate restructuring should create $13 billion in free shareholder value. Why not do that?'"

9 + 40 = 13? Since when?

Re: Ummm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787277)

that's where the negative number comes in.

Re: Ummm... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787303)

Except that quote makes no mention of a negative number. They are adding $9 billion plus $40 billion plus 1 penny and claim that equals $13 billion.

Re:Ummm... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787317)

What? You don't convert from base 10 to base 46 in the middle of your equations all the time?

Re:Ummm... (3, Informative)

Cigamit (200871) | about 3 months ago | (#46787447)

Today, Yahoo is estimated to be worth ~$36.72 Billion
It doesn't own YJHI and YAHI, it owns a percent stake in them. Those stakes are the estimated 9 and 40 billions. So what I believe he is saying is that if they sold those shares, then they would be 13b dollar richer then their current actual market of Yahoo.

Re:Ummm... (5, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 3 months ago | (#46787479)

9 + 40 = 13? Since when?

Let me explain the math: Yahoo has a market cap of about $40B. Yahoo's stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo-Japan are worth a combined $53B. So the $-13B is the value of Yahoo's core business. If they liquidate or spin off the holdings, that would generate $53B in cash, which could be returned to shareholders. Then, even if the stock price drops to zero (it cannot go lower), $13B in value has been created.

Disclaimer: I am aware that the numbers in the summary and the numbers in TFA don't actually match up.

Re:Ummm... (4, Insightful)

bondsbw (888959) | about 3 months ago | (#46787591)

And this is why we don't call this math... but rather "making shit up" to get money out of people.

Re:Ummm... (3, Insightful)

am 2k (217885) | about 3 months ago | (#46788029)

Yes, and this is how the world is ruled at the moment...

Re:Ummm... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787687)

9 + 40 = 13? Since when?

Let me explain the math: Yahoo has a market cap of about $40B. Yahoo's stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo-Japan are worth a combined $53B. So the $-13B is the value of Yahoo's core business. If they liquidate or spin off the holdings, that would generate $53B in cash, which could be returned to shareholders. Then, even if the stock price drops to zero (it cannot go lower), $13B in value has been created.

Disclaimer: I am aware that the numbers in the summary and the numbers in TFA don't actually match up.

According to the linked article, the Alibaba is worth $37b and the Japan part $11.3b. So only 48.3b (close enough the the 49 mention earlier, though I don't know how they came up with the 40+9 figures they used to arrive at $49b). So where does the other $4.7b come from?

Re:Ummm... (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 3 months ago | (#46787835)

9 + 40 = 13? Since when?

Let me explain the math: Yahoo has a market cap of about $40B. Yahoo's stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo-Japan are worth a combined $53B. So the $-13B is the value of Yahoo's core business. If they liquidate or spin off the holdings, that would generate $53B in cash, which could be returned to shareholders. Then, even if the stock price drops to zero (it cannot go lower), $13B in value has been created.

In that case, it would be worth it for some deep pocket investors to gain control of the board and drive a split-up.They'd get a 25% return for it; that they haven't may mean either no one can put together a del enough set of pockets to be able to force a breakup or they rely don't think there is such a premium.

Re:Ummm... (4, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 3 months ago | (#46788327)

they rely don't think there is such a premium.

Or the board members are more interested in keeping their jobs than in representing the interests of the shareholders. Right now, Mayer is considered a genius for doubling Yahoo's stock price. But if she spun off the holdings, it would be much more obvious that the price run-up was due to factors beyond her control, and that the core business, that she does control, has plummeted in value. It is in her interest to keep the merry-go-round spinning.

I am not surprised that the core business has lost value. I used to use several Yahoo services, but now use none. They all got so bad, they were no longer usable. Here are some specific examples:

1. movies.yahoo.com - I used to be able to go to this page, type in my zip-code, and see play times for theaters near my house. Then they changed the algorithm. Now it takes the zip-code, uses it to locate the center of the nearest large city, and shows the play times for the theaters closest to that point. I have no idea why they made this change, or what idiot thought it was a good idea.
2. news.yahoo.com - I had this configured to show news articles that I was interested in. Then they changed the interface so that all my custom configurations are gone, and instead I see articles about Kim Kardasian and Justin Beiber.
3. mail.yahoo.com - The mail interface has always been horrible, but it has worsened. They have always lacked sub-folders, and still do. So I can have a folder for "Friends", but cannot create sub-folders inside for each friend. So I can either have hundreds of folders at the top level, or file semi-related emails together. When Yahoo mail first started, I emailed them and asked about this. They replied that lots of people asked for sub-folders, and it was a "top priority". Now, 15 years and 14 thousand employees later, still no sub-folders. But at least I used to be able to narrow the "Search Mail" feature to a particular folder. That no longer works. It will now search ALL of my mail, mixing the needle I am looking for with plenty of unrelated hay.

Re:Ummm... (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 3 months ago | (#46788887)

they rely don't think there is such a premium.

Or the board members are more interested in keeping their jobs than in representing the interests of the shareholders. Right now, Mayer is considered a genius for doubling Yahoo's stock price. But if she spun off the holdings, it would be much more obvious that the price run-up was due to factors beyond her control, and that the core business, that she does control, has plummeted in value. It is in her interest to keep the merry-go-round spinning.

Which it is why an outside inverter or group of investors need to buy enough to force the boards hand; which usually only happens if a few board members are replaced. This type of change needs to be driven by outsiders who stand to make a boatload of money by changing the fundamentals of the company; however they first need to be convinced that the breakup is financially more lucrative than as an ongoing single concern.

Re:Ummm... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46788061)

42

Re:Ummm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46788669)

This does assume that these valuations are based on anything other than pure bullshit. Splitting the company in to three may also make all three worth negative infinity. Economics is sociology, not science.

Don't believe me? I have a pile of gold to sell you, but I only accept land and guns.

Wait... Yahoo still exists? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787207)

Weird.

Yeah, but their CEO has a vagina!! (0, Troll)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 3 months ago | (#46787219)

So she MUST be a great leader, who's going to revitalize the company and make them profitable and hip! It couldn't just be hype, that's unpossible!

Re:Yeah, but their CEO has a vagina!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787239)

Maybe she's just not opening her legs up enough?

Re:Yeah, but their CEO has a vagina!! (0)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 3 months ago | (#46787489)

... or Vagina

Re:Yeah, but their CEO has a vagina!! (1)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | about 3 months ago | (#46787811)

Keeping it classy, as usual...

Re:Yeah, but their CEO has a vagina!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46788161)

She needs a big hard cock to please it. They always get that way when their men do not give enough penis

Re: Yeah, but their CEO has a vagina!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46788355)

I don't think anyone with a penis or vagina could save Yahoo.

Shareholders know less than nothing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787223)

There is literally nothing to be gained by splitting the company up except fictional paper valuations. Gutting the company so shareholders can profit is such a boneheaded, shortsighted idea that I thought for a second we'd been teleported back in time to the corporate raider 80s.

Re:Shareholders know less than nothing (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787299)

Karl Marx called and wants his theory back.

Businesses may in theory work to maximise long term profitability, but in practice they are run by risk-averse humans who have finite lives and finite needs. So the ultimate drive is always to gut, reap, and run.

Re:Shareholders know less than nothing (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 months ago | (#46787743)

Could you please tell the government? Every time I do that to someone I end up in jail.

Re:Shareholders know less than nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787969)

Could you please tell the government? Every time I do that to someone I end up in jail.

How do you keep getting out of jail!?

Re:Shareholders know less than nothing (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 months ago | (#46788421)

There's a big market for organs, I can afford a good lawyer.

Re:Shareholders know less than nothing (3, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 3 months ago | (#46787709)

There is literally nothing to be gained by splitting the company up except fictional paper valuations.

This is why the question posed by TFS is silly:

A fun question is, as fiduciaries for shareholders, should Yahoo's directors split into three separate companies to maximize value?

As Yahoo's directors, its directors should do whatever aligns with the company's goals. If that goal is "make numbers look happy", then sure, they can do that. If their goal is to (re)build a single strong business, they should keep it together. The common notion that financial "shareholder value" is all-important, or somehow a required priority, is ridiculous.

Re:Shareholders know less than nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46788633)

As Yahoo's directors, its directors should do whatever aligns with the company's goals.

Incorrect. The "company" is nothing more than a Tax ID number. Yahoo's directors MUST (not "should") do whatever maximizes profit for shareholders. This isn't an opinion, nor what's socially correct, but those are the rules when you issue shares to the public on U.S. stock markets. If a board wants to make moves that don't appear to do that, even if that is the long term goal, they'll need to take the company private (like Dell) in order to not be accountable to shareholders in the public markets.

Also, this whole break up theory isn't entirely accurate. The mere act of selling a giant chunk of a company will drive down its stock price. Facebook may have a market cap of whatever, but if all VCs and insiders sold their shares in the next year, the stock would sell off. There's a reason why these latest IPOs have only sold 5% of issued shares on the market. Any more than that and the price for those shares would've been substantially lower.

Re:Shareholders know less than nothing (4, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about 3 months ago | (#46789045)

Yahoo's directors MUST (not "should") do whatever maximizes profit for shareholders. This isn't an opinion, nor what's socially correct, but those are the rules when you issue shares to the public on U.S. stock markets.

That's wrong in a couple of ways. What's legally required is that the board member put the shareholders interests above their own personal interests (fiduciary responsibility). But those interests are defined by the corporate charter, and to a large extent by the board itself. It's perfectly legal to create a publically traded corporation that sets social responsibility, or green blah blah blah, or some other such hippie nonsense above profit, and then that's what the board must pursue. You might struggle to get investors, or you might find a welcome market, but in any case it's allowed (and rarely happens).

More commonly, there's no requirement at all for the board to chase short term profit. That's where most the corporate infighting comes. Some corporations have firm 20 and 50 year growth plans, and sacrifice the short term for those plans, and sometimes those companies have a shareholder revolt because the owners lose patience and want everything monetized now. Sucks when that happens, but the downside of being a publically traded corporation is that you're ultimately controlled by your owners, and that can end up being anyone.

Re:Shareholders know less than nothing (1)

Wycliffe (116160) | about 3 months ago | (#46787861)

There is literally nothing to be gained by splitting the company up except fictional paper valuations. Gutting the company so shareholders can profit is such a boneheaded, shortsighted idea that I thought for a second we'd been teleported back in time to the corporate raider 80s.

Technically they wouldn't be spiliting the company up but rather just selling their shares of the other companies
as they don't own the other two companies only a percentage of them. It would be similiar to microsoft selling
the shares of apple they owned. This doesn't gut microsoft.

News flash: Marissa Mayer is useless. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787229)

Has anyone has believed Yahoo! post Mayer's 'strategy' is anything but biding time for the inevitable shutdown or way below cost acquisition?

Re:News flash: Marissa Mayer is useless. (1, Troll)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 3 months ago | (#46787509)

How *dare* you point out that a woman CEO isn't automatically going to be a huge success!!!! I'm calling the Political-Correctness Police on you, sir!!!

Re:News flash: Marissa Mayer is useless. (2)

ebh (116526) | about 3 months ago | (#46787597)

You're too late. We've been doing that since Carly Fiorina tanked Lucent and HP.

Re:News flash: Marissa Mayer is useless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787737)

I'm calling the Political-Correctness Police on you, sir!!!

You do realize that they only exist in the heads of Fox News watchers, right?

Re:News flash: Marissa Mayer is useless. (2)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 3 months ago | (#46787809)

For fictional characters, they sure have a lot of mod points.

Re:News flash: Marissa Mayer is useless. (1)

lgw (121541) | about 3 months ago | (#46789059)

Ask the former CEO of Mozilla how that worked out for him.

Re:News flash: Marissa Mayer is useless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46788139)

And don't you dare suggest the guy in the White House is doing less than a stellar job...

Re:News flash: Marissa Mayer is useless. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787727)

Has anyone has believed Yahoo! post Mayer's 'strategy' is anything but biding time for the inevitable shutdown or way below cost acquisition?

Shit, I thought that was Mayer's strategy.

Look at the spambots all over the Yahoo finance message boards. Yahoo never acted promptly on abuse reports, and thanks to AJAX, reporting spammers is a 5-click process - and also thanks to the AJAX redesign, the spams remain visible when you place the spambots on your ignore list.

And then there's Flickr. And YahooFail, I mean Mail. All decent Web 1.0 apps that got reduced into uselessness by the UX crews.

The purpose of Yahoo's string of redesigns is to give the semi-talented folks who are still there, but bored to death, the training they need for their next jobs. Yahoo's set of properties was done, they could have milked that userbase for ad impressions for years. By letting the UXtards run riot over the site, they destroyed their remaining customer base. Good riddance to them all.

Re:News flash: Marissa Mayer is useless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46788193)

The purpose of Yahoo's string of redesigns is to give the semi-talented folks who are still there

I had a friend who ended up becoming a senior admin at Yahoo. His only talent was drinking with and sucking up to the right people. And that was about a decade ago.

Its e-mail service is worse than all the other major webmail providers.

Its search results are so much worse than Google's.

Its instant messenger has no redeeming qualities at all.

The position taken by AOL during the first decade of commercial Internet was taken up by Yahoo for the second. Mediocre technicians and mediocre leaders. HP's R&D was deliberately killed off, but Yahoo has nothing left to take away. If it's gutted, nothing of value will be lost. I would have said the same for the past 15 years.

Re:News flash: Marissa Mayer is useless. (0)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 3 months ago | (#46787813)

She's pretty hot. Far from useless.

Re:News flash: Marissa Mayer is useless. (4, Interesting)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 3 months ago | (#46788283)

Can it be saved?

Short of a 2nd Steve Jobs type of CEO there is nothing left to do but sell.

I do not think Marrisa is bad. The fact is Yahoo was the leader in search, chat, groups, news, and media integration at the turn of the century. THey let it all go to shit soo bad that they can't recover.

1. Yahoo chat rooms rocked as well as AIM in 2000. THe porn spammers came in and ever 30 seconds even kids room got spammed. In 2009 I went back 9 freaking years later and all were porn BOTS!! No one did anything.

Seriously. I would have stopped this within days if I were Yang back then as people would leave and get freaked out and do not want RUssian porn spams every 30 seconds.

Skype now has audio, vidoe, calls, etc. Google Chat has this plus Google+ integration in it's own version.

2. They missed the mobile presence. DONE. THe market is made up of two. Apple and Android. No more no less. Windows Mobile is pretty nice and trying now but it is just too little too late and if Microsoft can't even get it you know you are in trouble being much smaller.

3. THe search sucked. Excite then lycos, and ultimately Google came in with intelligent data mining searches rather than just do a search for text like Yahoo did. When they got beat they shrugged their shoulders like they did with the porn spam bots for many many years and then act all shocked when everyone left?!

4. The site redesign is made for old people who do not like change or details. Old people rarely use the net more than looking at a news story or two and sending messages to their grandkids on facebook. Yeah lots of views there even if that is their demographic now.

5. They let websites like 4chan and drudge take over younger people's audiences.

6. THeir answer to livejournal and facebook was Yahoo360??! Please by 2006 it was too late.

Google deserves all of its fame. They delivered a supperior product and kept improving it at a rapid place and viewed complacency as an emeny. Google made sure they had a marketing. They also went into newer markets first before a threat could come in.Yahoo did the opposite.

I blame Yang the founder for its issues.

Yahoo needs to invent something out of this world now just to keep up. A new CEO can only do so much for places like Yahoo, Kmart, JCPenny, and other has been companies beaten out by nibble competitors. I guess like kmart you can't compete after a Walmart came in and even Target to a lesser extent.

Re:News flash: Marissa Mayer is useless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46788579)

Can it be saved?

Short of a 2nd Steve Jobs type of CEO there is nothing left to do but sell.

You mean a person that puts everything on sale and shames you into buying the latest shiny thing, forming a cult of groupies to support you without question, while taking their 30% cut of things that you create? That kind of CEO?

yahoo hasnt been yahoo for 10 years. (5, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about 3 months ago | (#46787249)

Everything Yahoo was, namely search, was purchased greedily by microsoft after a relentless and quite aggressive 3 year campaign to make a Bing. that search was then rolled into a search engine that by its very definition could never find itself in the ecosystem of internet websites outside of the mandatory, default configuration in internet explorer. Yahoo is for all intents and purposes a holding company that re-invests what little capital it still maintains into genuinely innovative companies. it sloughs off its patents to the highest bidder and treats its employees with ever growing contempt. Yahoo is not an internet company, its the monopoly man with dog-eared pockets shuffling the streets of internet town. Its designed to return dividends to a select group of core investors through a combination of profiteering and axing the headcount.

shell game (3, Insightful)

puddingebola (2036796) | about 3 months ago | (#46787279)

The pea is under this shell, are you looking? Okay, watch carefully, the hand is quicker than the eye.. the shells move, they move, they move, keep watching, keep watching. Voila! 13 billion dollars in value were under the third shell. Did you choose right?

#'s do lie corepirate nazi false profits (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787309)

they have some pretty fancy gear & some really nice office furniture

Doesn't valuation work the other way around? (4, Insightful)

joeflies (529536) | about 3 months ago | (#46787341)

Namely, don't you value Alibaba based on the size of Yahoo's investment (plus a multiple for future growth), rather than using that investment to gauge how much the investor is worth?

Re:Doesn't valuation work the other way around? (3, Insightful)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 3 months ago | (#46787459)

Of course. I have no idea where you'd get the idea it's done the other way around.

Just check out TFA, for example. Alibaba is currently estimated to be worth about US$153 bln. That is based on their IPO work and other analyses, and has nothing to do with Yahoo's stake in the company as such. So the 24% of Yahoo in that comes to almost $37b (which happens to be just a little less than the total market cap of Yahoo itself). That's how this valuation of Yahoo's stake is done, not the other way around.

YaWho? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787349)

Did not even recall them being still alive. Morning coffee surprise!

No telecomputing allowed (1)

Squidlips (1206004) | about 3 months ago | (#46787353)

A lot of unhappy programmers....

Re:No telecomputing allowed (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 3 months ago | (#46788565)

that would stop me from even considering working for yahoo.

(and I'm actively looking for work right now, too).

marissa is bad news. get rid of her, give yahoo a true fresh start and we'll talk about yahoo having a future.

just remove mommie dearest, please. she's an insult and does not rate being a ceo.

Investors... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787363)

Investors...

I don't think that word means what you think it means...

Yahoo does make money. (3, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 3 months ago | (#46787393)

I find it so odd that people keep dismissing yahoo because it is not cool.
1. Yahoo actually makes money.
2. Yahoo has a lot of users.
3. Some services like Yahoo mail are still very popular.

I use Gmail as may main account and outlooks as my professional webmail. I use Yahoo mail as my signup email but that is only just habit for me. Yahoo mail is not bad at all IMHO.
For techies Yahoo is history but for a lot of normal users it is still relevant. I am very techie but I still use my.yahoo page as a start page for me.

Re:Yahoo does make money. (3, Interesting)

whoever57 (658626) | about 3 months ago | (#46787533)

Yahoo mail is not bad at all IMHO.

I don't think that it is coincidence that, whenever someone I know gets their email hacked and used to send SPAM, they are using Yahoo mail.

There was an issue disclosed a few months ago which related to stealing Yahoo credentials -- I suspect there are others. It's either vunlerabilities at Yahoo or there is something about the type of person who uses Yahoo mail.

Re:Yahoo does make money. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 3 months ago | (#46787601)

Probably the number of people using Yahoo mail combined with the fact that a lot of folks that use it probably are normal people that do not keep up with patches and security software updates.
Not Yahoo's fault for the most part. I was speaking about Yahoo's UI for mail more than security.

Re:Yahoo does make money. (2)

cusco (717999) | about 3 months ago | (#46787975)

There are an awful lot of inactive Yahoo accounts that can be attacked without anyone really paying attention. I log into mine probably twice a year just in case someone that I used to know still has that address and has dropped me a line. My wife hasn't looked at hers in a couple of years, and I don't think my nieces even remember that theirs exists.

Actually yahoo mail is terrible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787611)

Maybe they fixed it recently. But in the not too distant past it would routinely hang, give web errors and was generally very slow. It also had some seriously terrible ergonomic issues. They've fixed it quit a bit lately but since they spent years destroying the simple but useful interface, I'm wondering if the recent performance is an anomaly and MM and company will resume making the user experience worse.

Re:Yahoo does make money. (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 3 months ago | (#46787713)

It doesn't matter.

If the share price doesn't keep up and it has no shareholder value than the shareholders need to force a sell and a liquidation.

Re:Yahoo does make money. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 3 months ago | (#46788755)

Yahoo is trading at over $42 a share and is much higher than it was a year ago.
Yahoo is just a boring company that makes money.

Re:Yahoo does make money. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787721)

Yahoo could have been google. You could even argue it SHOULD have been. They could have been ebay. Or facebook. Or myspace. Or youtube. Or any number of now massive internet giants.

Yahoo is old enough to have been any of them. Or even ALL of them combined.
But somehow. Thru skill and cluelessness. They missed every single money train.

They had to work hard not to be a success. And thats why they get ragged on.

Re:Yahoo does make money. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787833)

.. Wonder if they were hobbled by that Ghod-AWWWFUL name... YAAAAAAAAAAA-HOOOOOOOOOOOO. ... WHO the F**K names their company "Yahoo"?????

Re:Yahoo does make money. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787965)

or even netflix or itunes ... it's sad to see how they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory again and again.
hindsight is 20/20

look at delicious as an example -- there are so many

Re:Yahoo does make money. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 3 months ago | (#46788185)

Exactly.
Success is largely due to luck.
So they could be worse off today it they invested heavily in say Napster, eToys, pets.com. A lot of stuff with a lot of buzz sometimes dies off rather quickly.

Re:Yahoo does make money. (4, Informative)

Whip (4737) | about 3 months ago | (#46788079)

Not just "popular" -- Yahoo News is the #1 news site in the world (by traffic), Yahoo Finance is the #1 finance site in the world, Yahoo Sports is one of the top three sports sites in the world (tends to bounce around a little), and Yahoo as a whole trades the #1 ComScore spot back and forth with Google quite regularly.

I'm sure there's a lot of "hip" companies out there that *wish* they could even come close.

Yahoo is destroying their mail service (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46788497)

I have a Yahoo email account. In fact, it is my most active email account. Over the last few months Yahoo has been working very hard to make Yahoo email less usable. From my experience, they seem to have slowed the response time, added race conditions in the UI which prevent controls from working, completely ruined address completion, and done other things that I just cannot understand. Let me give an example, from my real-world use, of the address completion problem.

I have a user named William Whatever whose nickname is Bill. (Yahoo contact info has a nickname field.) Until a couple of weeks ago when I wanted to send email to Bill I could just type Bill in the "To" field and William Whatever's address would pop up as a choice along with one other contact called Bill. Pretty simple and useful, right? Now when I type Bill it seems that Yahoo searches all my old mail, with an associated long pause while the search occurs, and presents a list of eight names which potentially match Bill, mostly names that are not in my contact list but were gleaned from address lists emails I received in the past, which I did not add to my contact list. However, my friend Bill's name, which is in my contact list, is not included among the choices. Instead, I have to type William. But it get's better! After I select William from the list Yahoo pops up another list of choices which are "frequently included" and, lo and behold, Bill is first on that list! Yes, Bill, the nickname which did not show up at all on the first list. To make matters worse, many of the email addresses in the first list are wrong because the person who sent me an email in the past has changed his email address and the address presented in the list is no longer in use. I ask myself why Yahoo has decided to ignore my declared contacts in favor of unused and unwanted names gleaned from old emails, but I cannot imagine any situation where that is desirable.

If anyone out there has any internal influence at Yahoo then please find the architects, programmers, and PHBs responsible for stupidity such as this and slap them! Repeatedly!

Re:Yahoo does make money. (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 3 months ago | (#46788617)

3. Some services like Yahoo mail are still very popular.

I liked their real time market quote service, that I have paid for monthly for several years. However they notified me that they are cancelling the service. WTF?

Think and Grow Rich (1)

kvandivo (207171) | about 3 months ago | (#46787399)

The book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. He spends a fair amount of time discussing this exact thing. Wonderful read that everyone should invest a few hours in.

What is Yahoo doing? (2)

nine-times (778537) | about 3 months ago | (#46787443)

I don't know about the companies in China and Japan, and I don't know about stocks, but the general idea that Yahoo isn't actually worth much is unsurprising. Do people still use Yahoo.com or Yahoo mail? Yahoo IM? I understand that, like AOL, Yahoo owns other sites that are doing well, but what's Yahoo's strategy? How are they making money in the face of Google and Gmail?

Re:What is Yahoo doing? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787603)

I've been using it since 2003 just fine. Works great. I have email accounts on all 3 big providers but I keep coming back to yahoo for my email needs. My wife has hotmail and she gets peeved on a regular basis with the changes and requirements all the time.

Re:What is Yahoo doing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787827)

Someone still uses hotmail?

Re:What is Yahoo doing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46788309)

Yes, his wife, weren't you reading?

Re:What is Yahoo doing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46788691)

In other news AOL still exists as a company and still gets a large chunk of it's revenue from dial-up accounts.

ok sip (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787461)

ok sip tank artikel
http://www.galeri-dewasa.com

Tech companies are over valued (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787481)

This is sacrilege posting this on slashdot, but the value in technology isn't the software but in an actual tangible product you can hold or in the case of Yahoo a semi decent service. Software has no value when it can be copied without restriction. Yes we have DRM, copyright law, etc but when a bunch of Chinese hackers can copy software then there is no value. Yahoo is a terrible service with a terrible email client barely remaining relevant in this world where its main competitors have moved into different arenas like mobile devices and even becoming an ISP.

And seriously who uses Yahoo anymore? Old curdy boomers who have never heard of Gmail or Google? I have no idea. Yahoo needs to die and its patent carcass picked clean.

Re:Tech companies are over valued (1)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about 3 months ago | (#46788241)

Funny you mention ISP, Yahoo partnered up with SBC in the 90s and now AT&T. {although I believe SBC bought out AT&T and took the name I think they still provide the email services for AT&T subscribers}

zero valuation sounds right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787555)

The valuation sounds about right to me.

Overall I would say Yahoo!'s net contribution to the web has been a negative one.

Its been basically a drop in replacement for AOL.

Yahoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787567)

"Yahoo is most known for ..."

You wish. Most people think it died with Compuserve and Second Life.

Or more simply... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787615)

Investors in aggregate do not explicitly consider the indirect ownership of share inthose two businesses in the valuation of yahoo. Something in the same ballpark as 'more than the sum of its parts' applies to the other companies.

Been there. (5, Funny)

methano (519830) | about 3 months ago | (#46787661)

I used to work for a biotech company. After we went public our stock did nothing but sink. There was a period of time where our total value was substantially less than our cash in the bank. In other words, a pile of money in the hands of our management was worth less than the same pile of money just sitting on a table. I tended to agree with the market on that one.

Re:Been there. (2)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 3 months ago | (#46787793)

I used to work for a biotech company. After we went public our stock did nothing but sink. There was a period of time where our total value was substantially less than our cash in the bank. In other words, a pile of money in the hands of our management was worth less than the same pile of money just sitting on a table. I tended to agree with the market on that one.

That's when you do an LBO, liquidate the company and pocket the difference.

Time to sell (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 3 months ago | (#46787679)

When your value is worth less than your assets it is chapter 7 dissolution or sell time.

Time to throw in the towel and give back the money to the shareholders. I am sure the building and the brand name might mean something to someone at this point.

But the CEO will be giving quite a black eye from this and would look pretty bad for the resume so it is a give and take.

Clearly an overestimate (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 3 months ago | (#46787711)

Every time I look at Yahoo's home page, I know in my heart that it is not only worth less than nothing, but is actively, positively evil. It makes People magazine look intellectual.

Maybe the other units are over valued (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46787723)

Just because the pre-IPO value says one thing it doesn't mean those valuations are correct once they get in to the open market.

Zynga for example is now worth ~1/2 - 1/3 of their pre-IPO value.

What might be going on here is a bit of over valuation of Alibaba (often triggered by the 'excitement' around a large IPO) and Yahoo Japan. If this is the case it is possible Yahoo's valuation is currently about correct.

It is also possible the Yahoo core is undervalued, in which case it makes it a good time to invest in Yahoo as it is likely that eventually the stock will adjust upwards.

The most likely scenario is really a combination of both Alibaba having a somewhat inflated current valuation based off future potential (which is fine but breaks 'now' if you use that future value to calculate the now value of something) along with Yahoo's core being a bit undervalued because they aren't being as flashy and loud as Google or Microsoft.

HBFTW (3, Funny)

eightball (88525) | about 3 months ago | (#46787803)

Brian: Lady, seven bucks for a used Kenny Loggins record? I'll give you five.

Record Store Customer: Ugh-huh, he autographed it himself.

Brian: All right, I'll give you four.

Yahoo Japan ... what is that? (1)

failedlogic (627314) | about 3 months ago | (#46787909)

I searched for this "Yahoo" "Japan" website since I never heard of it. I used Google naturally since Yahoo.com's results, as this article points out, are worth less than nothing.

I found the website but it is absolutely incomprehensible.The writing is in mixed font characters on my computer. It looks like the wingding font. Do I need to install additional fonts?

Yahoo engineers should get on fixing this right away. They built a large presence with such gibberish, think of the possibilities when we can -all- read it!

1. Gibberish site
2. Fix fonts and spell-check
3. ????
4. Profit!!!

Yahoo like a mobius strip of fail (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 3 months ago | (#46787933)

Every time I think they've hit rock bottom, they circle around one more time. First, mail was so overwhelmed by spam I started my Gmail account. When they finally got that fixed they jacked up the UI. Then they turned around and adopted some of those terrible UI metaphors Gmail introduced. I used to play Yahoo Hearts, but the game hasn't been significantly updated in at least 10 years and problems like trolls and stallers persist. Of course, search has been inferior for a decade. I had started using Yahoo news for the comments section and they even managed to jack THAT up so now their stories are like a wasteland for interacting with other readers.

Yahoo Answers was one of the last places I would hang out religiously, but then they obliterated the UI which made me swore it off. When I thought about coming back, they sealed the deal and made a change where only the asker can reward an answer (note most people from my experience don't have the courtesy to thank you or even credit you for the correct answer).

You know that fable of the dumb kid in class they figured out was actually a genius because they figured out his scores were so low it had to be intentional? I wonder if this is some Wall Street shell game to tank the company. I just can't believe Yahoo could guess wrong this many times on accident.

Re:Yahoo like a mobius strip of fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46788147)

But wait a minute, I thought Marissa Mayer was pretty and has blond hair.

Doesn't that count for something?

Remember Palm Pilot IPO (2)

tomhath (637240) | about 3 months ago | (#46788171)

When it was spun off, the value of Palm was something like $16B more than the value of the parent company before the split. Of course we all know how well that worked out.

anonymous reader? (1)

zarmanto (884704) | about 3 months ago | (#46788175)

I find it amusing that a post suggesting that Yahoo should basically just "close up shop and go home" was posted anonymously. It makes me wonder if perhaps the hands behind this particular post belong to someone at Google... who doesn't want Yahoo to succeed at it's various rumored "come back" plans, such as trying to swipe the default iOS search engine crown [arstechnica.com] , and trying to build a YouTube competitor [slashdot.org] .

Re:anonymous reader? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46788545)

I find it amusing that you're so fucking stupid you don't know the difference between the submitter and the author. Seriously, TFA is from Bloomberg, the authors name and bio are on the page. He doesn't work for Google, and his analysis is purely from an investor perspective, because that's what he does, which is why he writes for Bloomberg. He also quite clearly does not argue that Yahoo should "close up shop and go home," he questions whether it would be wise for Yahoo to sell of some of its investments, since it would clearly create immediate shareholder value. Although the main point of the article is examining the curiosity of a company worth significantly less than the sum of its investments.

Vehicle analogy (1)

Jonboy X (319895) | about 3 months ago | (#46788225)

Think of Yahoo of a steamship carrying $53 billion worth of precious cargo. The ship captain has been piloting the ship aimlessly around the globe, selling off cargo at each port to pay for fuel to get it to the next port, for no reason. How much would you pay for that boat?

Summary Writer Does Not Understand Valuation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46788621)

The share value of a stock is the perceived value, in today's dollars, of all future business the company will do. Market cap has nothing to do with the value of a "core business."

The summary writer is confusing book value with market capitalization.

this may just be convoluted logic (1)

itchybrain (2538928) | about 3 months ago | (#46788637)

Let me get this straight.

The stock price of a company is reflected in its market cap.

The company has assets (AliBaba and Yahoo Japan) that exceeds its market cap

Shouldn't the proper conclusion drawn be that the company is undervalued, and its stock price is cheap? To label its core holding as worthless is just not helpful.

Marissa + Apple (1)

Scot Seese (137975) | about 3 months ago | (#46788879)

There is a reason Marissa Mayer is cozying up to Apple in a bid to replace Bing as the default search engine on iDevices. Instant, incredible spike in search engine traffic and advertising revenue.

Apple appears to be highly interested in dis-aligning itself from companies it views as peer or near-peer competitors, or reducing entanglement as much as possible. Google's privacy issues, Nexus devices and cozy relationship with Samsung (and other premium Android flagship makers) leaves a bad taste in Cupertino. And Bing is .. well.. Bing. But Yahoo! was early to the party, doesn't particularly carry negative baggage with it as far as consumers are concerned, and isn't competing against Apple in any market space, so why not.

Apple has placed itself in a delicate position. They have become like a premium fashion design house in Paris or Milan. They manufacture next to nothing- they design, then send patterns off to an army of contract manufacturers in Asia to get the Spring line, Summer line, Fall line, Winter line into stores. And then those manufacturing partners produce higher and higher quality knockoffs or competing designs inspired by the the originals, which they are paid to produce. It must gall Apple to be so reliant on Samsung to fab their A7 (and A8) processors, LG to make their iPhone 5/C/S displays, all while those companies position their own premium Android flagships to compete against Apple.

Apple will most likely switch to Yahoo! for default search results, and it will lift Yahoo's stock - and public image - dramatically.

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