Yahoo hoopla by the numbers: Possible buyers, what it’s worth and more

There’s coverage galore about what will become of Yahoo after the Wall Street Journal and others reported Tuesday that the board is meeting this week to consider selling off the Sunnyvale company’s Internet business, possibly in response to investor Starboard Value’s call last month to do so. Here’s a by-the-numbers look at all the talk.

2, 3, 4 or 100: The number of names of possible buyers being tossed around. At least three private equity firms have looked at buying Yahoo’s core business, according to the Financial Times. Of course there are also big tech companies on some of the lists, including Alibaba, Apple and… good old Microsoft. Remember all the Microhoo talk years ago?

$3.4 billion to $4.1 billion: Is that what Yahoo’s core business is worth? Yahoo’s market capitalization before these latest reports was about $31 billion — which would effectively value its core business at zero because its Alibaba stake is worth about $32 billion and its Yahoo Japan unit is worth $8.5 billion, according to the WSJ. (This isn’t new, we’ve written over the years about how other parts of Yahoo have surpassed its core business’ value.) But a Journal blog post cites estimates by a couple of analysts who say Yahoo’s Internet business might fetch between four to six times its forward earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. That would be between $3.4 billion and $4.1 billion, according to Citigroup analyst Mark May. Cantor Fitzgerald’s Youssef Squali’s number is $3.9 billion.

$33.35 billion: That’s Yahoo’s market cap today. Its shares are up about 5 percent to $35.40 amid all the hoopla. Yahoo shares were trading at less than $16 when Marissa Mayer was named the company’s CEO in July 2012.

$47.5 billion: That’s what Microsoft would’ve paid for Yahoo in 2008. Alas.

Meanwhile: Will killing Yahoo’s main business save it, my colleague Michelle Quinn asks. And Recode’s Kara Swisher downplays the original WSJ report and writes that the Yahoo board is actually going to be backing the embattled Mayer and focusing on the company’s planned Alibaba spinoff.


Photo from Associated Press


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  • ellafino

    What else does Yahoo do besides it’s internet business.