Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) Makes Up Search Ground in 2015 – Will This Lead to a Stock Resurgence in 2016?

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For those of you who have been long in Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) stock, you know that 2015 was not a very good year for the company’s investors. A year that saw the stock hover between $27.20 and $51.68 mostly saw a downward trend all year long until the end of September when shares began to rally a bit. These past three months have been rather boring for the stock, as it’s bounced around a bit but hasn’t really made much of a move in one direction or another.

Could 2016 be a better year for Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) investors? Recently statistics were released by adage.com showing that the company actually made up some ground on the likes of Google. Google’s search market share delined slightly while Yahoo and Microsoft saw their shares increase. It’s worth noting that Yahoo saw a greater percentage increase than Microsoft did. This comes though with the company spending approximately $223 million in the third quarter to specifically send more traffic to its web portal.

It should be interessting to see if this resurgence can continue as far as search engine share goes, and if this will translate into an increase in share price for 2016.

The stock is up 1.25% or $0.42 today, hitting $34.02 per share. About 6.98 million shares traded hands. YHOO has declined 21.59% since May 26, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 19.32%.

From a total of 25 analysts covering Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) stock, 16 rate it a “Buy”, 0 a “Sell”, and 9 a “Hold”. This means that 64% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $62 while the lowest target price is $32. The mean of all analyst targets is $42.71 which is 25.54% above today’s ($34.02) stock price. Yahoo! Inc. was the topic of 59 analyst reports since July 22, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. SunTrust maintained shares on December 10 with a “Buy” rating. Cowen & Co maintained shares with a”Market Perform” rating and a $35 target share price in their report from an October 21. FBR Capital maintained YHOO stock in a recent report from December 9 with a “Outperform” rating. RBC Capital Markets maintained the rating on October 21. RBC Capital Markets has a “Sector Perform” rating and a $42 price target on shares. Finally, Oppenheimer maintained the stock with a “Outperform” rating in a report they issued on an October 21.

The institutional sentiment decreased to 0.8 in Q2 2015. It’s down 0.23, from 1.03 in 2015Q2. The ratio dropped, as 113 funds sold all their Yahoo! Inc. shares they owned while 235 reduced their positions. 60 funds bought stakes while 220 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 619.16 million shares which is 2.60% less than the previous share count of 635.68 million in 2015Q2.

Stonehill Capital Management Llc holds 60.89% of its total portfolio in Yahoo! Inc., equating to 5.71 million shares. Zenit Asset Management Ab owns 4.42 million shares representing 22.25% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Indaba Capital Management L.P. has 21.81% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 2.31 million shares. The United Kingdom-based Davide Leone & Partners Investment Co Llp has a total of 17.99% of their portfolio invested in the stock. Owl Creek Asset Management L.P., a New York-based fund reported 9.97 million shares owned.

Yahoo! Inc. is a technology company

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