It seems that Yahoo thought its stock had hit rock bottom in June of 2008 when it was trading at $23.52 per share. This price was reached after Microsoft walked away from its talk with Yahoo of a buyout.
CNET News reports that Yahoo's stock has now dropped to a new 52-week low with the stock trading Thursday morning at $17.81 per share. The low stock price makes Microsoft's offer of $31 per share for Yahoo stock in February 2008 seem like a gift of the biggest kind.
With Microsoft totally out of the picture and enjoying its "independence", Wall Street is wondering if there is anything in the future that could pull Yahoo's stock out of the current nose dive. Yahoo has the controversial deal with Google pending approval with antitrust regulators, but Wall Street expects the deal to go through unfettered.
Mark May, an analyst for Needham & Co told CNET News, "A DOJ approval would be mildly positive for the stock. It has a greater than 50 percent chance of being approved, so it's already baked into the current stock price."
That means final approvals for the Yahoo/Google advertising deal would do little for the current stock price. Yahoo's third quarter closes in September and analysts expect little to come along to help the ailing search firm.
Yahoo does have another glimmer of hope in the future that could help its stock prices -- its advertising management platform (AMP). Cantor Fitzgerald's Derek Brown said, "It's unclear what impact it [AMP] will have over time. It depends on what happens with the rest of the economy. If AMP is wildly successful and it's perceived that Yahoo is taking advertising wallet share, then that could move the stock. But the possibility that will happen in the short-term seems very low."
CNET News notes that a few other Yahoo moves could help its stock price to some extent including the sale of investment in Yahoo Japan, selling Chinese search site Alibaba, or buying back its own shares.
Steve Weinstein of Pacific Crest Securities notes, "All of these things could potentially happen. But the question is: can they execute going forward and take share in a meaningful way from Google, MSN, or anyone for that matter?"
Many will wonder where the 52-week low stock price sits with Carl Icahn. Icahn was perhaps the most vocal Yahoo stockowner to condemn Yahoo and its board for not taking the Microsoft offer. Icahn had previously vowed to end Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang's days at the helm of the search firm.
Icahn rallied shareholder support to elect a new board and out Yang and Yahoo chairman Roy Bostock. To quell the internal strife, Yang and Bostock cut a deal with Icahn that would give Icahn a seat on Yahoo's board of directors and expand the board by two members with nominees from Icahn in the running for the slots.
Ironically, the deal given to Icahn by Yang and Bostock came after Yahoo executives lashed out saying that Yahoo would not be bludgeoned by Microsoft and Icahn.
quote: Yahoo! offers nothing that others don't do as well or better
quote: These yahoos (heh) on the board have royally stuffed themselves, and the company. The shareholders have every right and absolutely should toss all the board members out on their dumb asses...the boards "options" at this point amount to precisely #@$%-all. I have no love for Microsoft, but screwing up that purchase offer is one of the all time greatest business blunders. Sheer stupidity...if I was a shareholder, I'd be incandescent with rage. Since I'm not, I can just point a finger and giggle. I predict that Yahoo will flounder for a few years, watching it's value plummet (both financially and socially) until such point as it's split up and sold off at pennies on the dollar to the only 3 people left at that point who still think it has anything worth pennies on the dollar. I see no way that Yahoo can ever recover from this. They're a portal and a search engine...which unfortunately for them is absolutely not unique - they're a commodity, and if Yahoo isn't around there's any number of other portals/search engines that people will use with no loss of functionality whatsoever.