Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) Stock Inches Forward as Talks of Acquisition or Reverse Spin-off Heat Up

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For investors of Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) stock, 2015 and the beginning of the new year have been anything but pleasant. Down around 43% from it’s 52-week high, the company needs to do something to prevent further declines. 2016 could be quite a big year for the Marissa Mayer run company — barring she is still running the company in a few months from now.

This morning, shares of Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) stock are up 1.23% in the pre-market as investors are holding out hopes that the company makes a move that will benefit sharehoders to the fullest. One such move would be to find a company willing to acquire them, and a another move would be a reverse spin-off of the company’s internet business. Both of these are options, and both are options that both Mayer and the Board of Directors will have to evaluate in the days and weeks ahead.

“These actions are part of a strategic plan designed to simplify the company’s business and narrow its focus and to improve operational and cost efficiency,” Yahoo explained an official filing.

Yahoo’s market capitalization stands at just $26 billion, down a ton from the days where they were once considering acquisitions of Google and Facebook. Now it’s their turn to be an acquisition tarket — that’s IF anyone is interested.

The stock decreased 4.75% or $1.38 during the last trading session, hitting $27.68. Approximately 12,426 shares traded hands. YHOO shares have declined 29.55% since June 30, 2015 and are currently downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 22.04%.

From a total of 24 analysts covering Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) stock, 16 rate it a “Buy”, 0 a “Sell”, and 8 a “Hold”. This means that 67% 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 $41.92 which is 51.45% above today’s ($27.68) stock price. Yahoo! Inc. was the topic of 63 analyst reports since July 22, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. FBR Capital maintained shares on February 3 with a “Outperform” rating. Cowen & Co maintained shares with a”Market Perform” rating and a $35 target share price in their report from an October 21. Pivotal Research upgraded YHOO stock in a recent report from January 25 to a “Buy” rating. Jefferies maintained the rating on October 21. Jefferies has a “Buy” rating and a $49 price target on shares. Finally, Citigroup downgraded the stock to a “Neutral” rating in a report they issued on a December 9.

The institutional sentiment decreased to 0.8 in Q2 2015. It’s down 0.23, from 1.03 in 2015Q2. The ratio fall, 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