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November 30, 2012


Yahoo Inc. shares back on a tear

by kevin barker

I love the naysayers on Yahoo stock, which includes just about everybody on the street, but mostly the Microsoft "stop Yahoo" faction who've been smarting ever since Jerry Yang spurned their ridiculously cheap takeover offer a few years back. The latest hand-wringing is over Yahoo's ownership of AliBaba IPO shares, on which they made out like bandits. Despite that, the street worried excessively - and publicly - about where Yahoo's profits would come from hereafter. Picking up $7.8 billion from making a series of incredibly smart moves in a row is apparently a bad thing.

Vanity Fair and Forbes are also members of the "we hate Yahoo" club, with the former portraying Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer as a neanderthal who forbids employees from working at home. Tsk -- woe to those who break the tech work ethic credo, of flex-time and telecommuting hey? Even Vanity Fair, formerly a good magazine now whoring itself to Hollywood, and apparently Wall Street as well, got into the act this year, asking rhetorically whether Mayer will be Yahoo's saviour or its next big problem. (Conclusion: She's baaaaad, m'kay?)


The latest revelation is a series of public allegations by the FBI that a former Netflix employee, now Yahoo's chief information officer, accepted kickbacks while working for the video/movie streaming company. Conclusion: Yahoo only hires neanderthals and people who are just plain evil, like Bert from Sesame Street. My own theory is that the U.S. military /espionage complex and Wall Street are engaged in a conspiracy to punish Yahoo for not joining THE NSA's illegal and wide-spread information gathering nexus. But I'm just speculatin' a hypothesis there. I have no evidence. But if I were King of the FBI I'd be worrying like hell over this AliBaba-Yahoo relationship. That's treason!

One that didn't ...

My timing was off on Hewlett Packard (HPQ.NYSE, see chart below) in 2012. I try to get within 20% of a price bottom going up or down, but the stock actually dropped pretty far south, from $22 p/sh in June to under $12 by December. However, at the time the chart was signalling a return to the previous highs, and I think that's within reach now. Over the past few years I've been calling blue chip stocks a little further out; in a fast market I favour juniors with a potential 90 day return.

H-P had a bumpy road in that tablet product race which unfolded a few years back. They were wallflowers when the portals were pairing up with chip makers like Intel and Motorola in 2011 to capitalize on the exploding mobile computing market. At the time I considered H-P a crisis play but wasn't counting them out as the chart looked good for a return to the days when the company's shares traded upwards of $40. What I liked particularly was not their tablets which sucked but H-P's entry to the asset tracking market. The company had won a $543 million deal with the Department of Veterans Affairs to track hospital equipment with intelligent devices, which just makes so much sense when you think about it. Why not track wheelchairs and defibrillators and the like electronically? Or automobiles for that matter? Indeed, the stock has risen nicely on solid earnings from an improved product portfolio.