Trading halted on Yahoo's stock...
March 7, 2001 9:01 AM   Subscribe

Trading halted on Yahoo's stock... I realize that financial news is rarely posted here, at MeFi, but Yahoo is a big player... and there's a LOT of speculation going on about what is prompting the halt: a take-over announcement, an acquisition announcement... blah blah blah. Any insight from you folks?
posted by silusGROK (15 comments total)
My money is on a Disney buyout.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 9:22 AM on March 7, 2001

Could be AOL. That DNS registration makes you wonder...

posted by TNLNYC at 9:29 AM on March 7, 2001

I'm not that familiar with the intricacies of registration, but couldn't that WHOIS look-up be a ruse? Couldn't someone wanting to get a rumor rolling register that domain?
posted by silusGROK at 9:32 AM on March 7, 2001

Ha - This would be the coolest thing since...I dunno...strawberry flavored.
posted by Hankins at 9:42 AM on March 7, 2001

Yahoo! may be acquiring something; I doubt that they are being acquired themselves. They still have a $12 billion dollar market cap, even at these very depressed levels, so anyone trying to buy them out would have to be big.
posted by Chairman_MaoXian at 10:08 AM on March 7, 2001

In Europe the speculation is on Vivendi... But then again, it may be just a bad earnings report. As of yesterday the stock has been trading at its lowest since Sep 98.
posted by noom at 10:39 AM on March 7, 2001

Whatever it is, we'll know at 2pm pacific time. My bet is on layoffs, earning warning and maybe some new positioning... but I'm probably wrong.
posted by TNLNYC at 11:24 AM on March 7, 2001

Definitely going to be an earnings warning and probably a serious outlook change. Any company that relies that heavily on advertising is going to suffer right now.
posted by m0dius at 12:10 PM on March 7, 2001

My two cents: what they're announcing in descending order of likelihood:

(1) an earnings-and-restructuring announcement. A very high percentage of Yahoo's revenues have been banner ads, and we know what's happened to banner ad volume and rate cards in the past couple of quarters. I think that the market has priced in expectations along these lines pretty well, so it wouldn't have a huge effect on the market, or even on YHOO.

(2) a somewhat more drastic structural or financial announcement, like a restatement of revenues, resignation of one of the top executives, or something along these lines. This would have a big effect

(3) a merger-purchase, not of Yahoo but BY Yahoo! Yahoo! acquiring Google would be an obvious candidate (gets Google investors and employees liquid in their equity without Google trying to IPO under difficult circumstances, and puts Yahoo unquestionably as the only game in town for search and portalling). Acquisitions with lesser synergy (Excite@Home, eBay, Amazon) are extremely unlikely, but not impossible.

(4) a strategic partnership with Yahoo by an old economy company, like Vivendi -- Yahoo! is still too highly overvalued to be straight-out acquired (or to acquire) any company valued along different metrics, except ...

(5) ... as a "hail Mary" pass by some very distressed old-economy-in-transition company. AT&T (or one of its spin-off units, like AT&T Broadband or AT&T Consumer) would be a very good example -- a slumping company with poor management, worse execution and no clear business plan.

posted by MattD at 12:21 PM on March 7, 2001

As long as we're speculating wildly, I believe that Filo and Yang will reveal that they were aliens all along and that they are returning to their home planet to pursue professional shuffleboard careers.

That's as good as any of the above guesses....
posted by jkottke at 12:50 PM on March 7, 2001

I'm guessing it's a prewarning of a large decrease in expected EPS. YHOO isn't scheduled to release earnings until after the bell April 11. I really don't think it's an announcement of them getting taken over, since it would probably have meant a trading halt in the buyer's stock. Also, a merger of this magnitude would have been leaked out somewhere - probably intentionally - after the bell yesterday.

Press releases go out at 5pm ET. The call is at 5:15pm ET at 888-849-9184.
posted by aaron at 1:07 PM on March 7, 2001 says :"Reports: Yahoo CEO Tim Koogle to step down; earnings to fall below expectations "
posted by owillis at 1:30 PM on March 7, 2001

From the horse's mouth:
posted by metrocake at 2:14 PM on March 7, 2001

That was somewhat anti-climactic. I was expecting them to change their corporate colors or something.
posted by vanderwal2 at 2:25 PM on March 7, 2001

I'm with you vanderwal2, I was hoping for a redesign. :)
posted by schlyer at 2:58 PM on March 7, 2001

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