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Yahoo! Businesses The Almighty Buck

Investors Value Yahoo's Core Business At Less Than $0 150

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-they-have-a-new-logo dept.
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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Investors Value Yahoo's Core Business At Less Than $0

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  • by alphatel (1450715) * on Friday April 18, 2014 @10:16AM (#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....
    • and take my money!

    • by swschrad (312009) on Friday April 18, 2014 @11:31AM (#46787755) Homepage Journal

      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.

      • by shaitand (626655)
        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.
    • Piezoelectric crowns and fillings? Chew more the lights are getting dim!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    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: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Cigamit (200871)

      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... (Score:5, Informative)

      by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Friday April 18, 2014 @11:00AM (#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... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bondsbw (888959) on Friday April 18, 2014 @11:14AM (#46787591)

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

        • Re:Ummm... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by am 2k (217885) on Friday April 18, 2014 @12:02PM (#46788029) Homepage

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

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

          These prices are determined in a free market for equities (anyone can buy and sell, and transaction costs are minimal). If you think you are "smarter than the market", then you are free to buy leveraged options and monetize your vastly superior intellect. After you have done so, please come back and post a picture of your new yacht.

          • by bondsbw (888959)

            These prices are determined in a free market for equities (anyone can buy and sell, and transaction costs are minimal). If you think you are "smarter than the market", then you are free to buy leveraged options and monetize your vastly superior intellect. After you have done so, please come back and post a picture of your new yacht.

            What does any of that have to do with math? My point, if it weren't obvious, is that market value isn't built on math but rather on feels. I feel good about this company therefore I buy, and others feel the same therefore the market value goes up.

            It just shows that the stock market is a game, not built on actual math but built on intuition, strategy, fear, and comfort. How else can a simple act of splitting up a company (that is already 3 separate businesses) create so much "value"?

            Anyway, thanks but I'l

      • by Anonymous Coward

        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?

      • 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... (Score:5, Informative)

          by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Friday April 18, 2014 @12:37PM (#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.

          • 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.

          • by jonbryce (703250)

            The Yahoo services I still use are uk.finance.yahoo.com; and sometimes the equivalents from other countries. It hasn't changed, and that's a good thing.

            Also the Yahoo Weather app on my phone. It has changed, in a good way.

        • Except of course that individual current owners of Yahoo would see that the investors would get a 25% return and figure other people would sell at market and they could hang on to their shares for a while to get a chunk of the 25%. The investors would effectively have to pay a portion of the premium. They would also have to deal with the risk that they put the whole deal together and then someone jumps in and buys out Yahoo for a tiny bit more or that Yahoo directors tank the value through poison pills or o
          • Except of course that individual current owners of Yahoo would see that the investors would get a 25% return and figure other people would sell at market and they could hang on to their shares for a while to get a chunk of the 25%. The investors would effectively have to pay a portion of the premium. They would also have to deal with the risk that they put the whole deal together and then someone jumps in and buys out Yahoo for a tiny bit more or that Yahoo directors tank the value through poison pills or other actions in response to their attempt.

            Yea, theres a lot of risk in such a move. But an investor need nobly buy enough to force the issue with the board.If someone else pays a premium over what they'd get then they'd happy dump their shares. After all, the name of the game os making money not what is best for Yahoo.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        42

    • by jonbryce (703250)

      I don't know why you would want to add 9 + 40 to get the value of Core Yahoo.

      Yahoo Inc (value $a) owns Core Yahoo, of unknown value $b, plus shares in YJHI (c%) and YAHI (d%).

      To get the value of Core Yahoo b, you take a - ((9 * c/100) + (40 * d/100)) to get the result.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Weird.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    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.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 18, 2014 @10:34AM (#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.

    • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Friday April 18, 2014 @11:27AM (#46787709) Homepage

      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.

    • by Wycliffe (116160)

      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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 18, 2014 @10:23AM (#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: (Score:1, Troll)

      by NotDrWho (3543773)

      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: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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

    • She's pretty hot. Far from useless.

    • by Billly Gates (198444) on Friday April 18, 2014 @12:31PM (#46788283) Journal

      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.

      • by CODiNE (27417)

        Google deserves all of its fame. They delivered a supperior product

        And that is exactly why I always turn to Google for my supper needs. Nobody does supper better than Google, they really make the supperiest product which makes my mouth water with anticipation every time.

  • by nimbius (983462) on Friday April 18, 2014 @10:25AM (#46787249) Homepage
    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 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by puddingebola (2036796) on Friday April 18, 2014 @10:31AM (#46787279) Journal
    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?
  • by joeflies (529536) on Friday April 18, 2014 @10:39AM (#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?

    • by wvmarle (1070040) on Friday April 18, 2014 @10:57AM (#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.

  • A lot of unhappy programmers....
    • 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.

  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Friday April 18, 2014 @10:48AM (#46787393) Homepage Journal

    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.

    • by whoever57 (658626) on Friday April 18, 2014 @11:06AM (#46787533) Journal

      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.

      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        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.

      • by cusco (717999)

        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.

    • 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.

      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        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: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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.

    • by Whip (4737) on Friday April 18, 2014 @12:08PM (#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.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      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 Whatev

    • 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?

    • by synapse7 (1075571)

      I don't think yahoo mail is too bad either, but I only use it to register for other accounts that I want to share with haxors.

  • 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.

  • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Friday April 18, 2014 @10:56AM (#46787443) Homepage
    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?
    • by Prien715 (251944)

      Yahoo is the largest email provider on the planet and messenger is much more popular outside the US, much like Ali Baba.

    • Do people still use Yahoo.com or Yahoo mail? Yahoo IM?

      yes.
      http://www.moosend.com/view/mo... [moosend.com]

      what's Yahoo's strategy?

      make money from advertising? considering they still have a massive user base, seems like a pretty good plan.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    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 differen

    • 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}

  • Been there. (Score:5, Funny)

    by methano (519830) on Friday April 18, 2014 @11:21AM (#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.
    • 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.

      • by rk (6314)

        Of course, if someone did that to Apple nearly 20 years ago when the stock was in the toilet but they still had a pile of money they would've pretty seriously screwed themselves. Not saying it's never a right choice to do that but it's not always right either.

        • Of course, if someone did that to Apple nearly 20 years ago when the stock was in the toilet but they still had a pile of money they would've pretty seriously screwed themselves. Not saying it's never a right choice to do that but it's not always right either.

          true, but they are not in it for the long run. They want to make as much as possible today and move on to the next target. It's not so much whether it is the right or worngthing but "can I make enough money doing this instead of something else?"

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • HBFTW (Score:4, Funny)

    by eightball (88525) on Friday April 18, 2014 @11:38AM (#46787803) Journal

    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.

  • 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- r

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Friday April 18, 2014 @11:51AM (#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.

  • by tomhath (637240) on Friday April 18, 2014 @12:19PM (#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.
  • 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].

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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 Cupertin

    • Apple depends heavily on its image. I really can't see them ever attach themselves to yahoo. The impression i have gotten from people under 30, is that yahoo/aol are services for your mom/grandma. Remember the "im a mac, im a pc" commercials?
  • Or it could be that Yahoo Japan and Alibaba are also overvalued.

    This really seems more plausible.
  • Why do think there's this hero worship mythology built up around Marissa Meyer? Because the Yahoo business is the JC Penney of the internet.

  • I suspect the problem here is that the stock market is inefficient or irrational, and the Efficient Market Hypothesis is wrong. I suspect that alibaba is in a bubble and overvalued. Furthermore, it has been bid up in a bubble by amateur investors, who don't realize that they could acquire a stake in alibaba more cheaply by buying yahoo stock instead. Professional investors won't short alibaba, because they think the price for it won't correct quickly enough.

    If my suspicion is correct, then the CEO of Yaho

  • I guess they are used to using it to watch their stocks, probably the one useful thing on that site.

    I have been forced to sign up for YahooGroups over the years just so that I can have my email address stolen by spammers and receive copious supplies of electrons in the form of Viagra emails. We could run the planet on that electricity coming across the wire. I learned long ago to use disposable email addresses and to block all other than the Yahoo mail servers just to keep the spam under reasonable contro

  • What the market is essentially saying is they don't agree with Bloomberg analyst's or others' evaluation of the value of these other companies. The natural conclusion is the market says THE ANALYSTS ARE WRONG in their estimates of the worth of Yahoo Japan/Alibaba.

    It is the analysts, not the public that assume it is the US portion of Yahoo's operations that are being valued at $0.

    By the way.... just because some Alibaba stock or some Yahoo Japan stock is available on other exchanges at a certain pric

  • I would be shocked if this wasn't intentional maneuvering to use the entire core of Yahoo as part of a tax write-off scheme to pay next to nothing on any profits they make from Yahoo Japan and the upcoming Alibaba IPO.

    "We're valued at -$13bn, therefore Mr IRS, take a piss with your tax bill."

  • What they need to do is restructure yahoo.com.
  • I love all the contortions people go through to prove markets are rational. Alibaba keeps getting higher and higher valuations, Yahoo's stock more or less follows market fluctuations, therefore Yahoo core must have lost billions in value over the last few months and be worth negative dollars even though Yahoo Core is quite profitable. Suuuure. This same thing happened with EMC when VMWare went IPO. It took a few weeks for investors to do simple math.

    Disclaimer: I work at Yahoo

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