Yahoo! Hits Icahn Below The Belt

Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) is using, the #1 homepage in the world to promote their interests.  On the homepage, the following message is on the right.  When clicking on the message, Yahoo! stockholder information is pulled up.  And an article at the top is labeled as: “The Icahn Slate Is Not the Right Answer for Yahoo!”

“On May 15, 2008, Carl Icahn announced his intent to nominate a slate of directors for election at Yahoo!’s 2008 annual meeting of stockholders to take control of Yahoo!. When Mr. Icahn began his proxy contest he had no articulated plan for Yahoo! other than a sale of the Company to Microsoft and today he still lacks a strategy that makes sense for Yahoo! stockholders,” states the article.  “His current plan is a complex restructuring of the Company which includes a sale of Yahoo!’s valuable search business to Microsoft.”

Below a couple of articles, there is a screenshot of all of the companies that Icahn was recently involved with and how their stock is performing.

This chart that Yahoo! put together is slightly irrelevant because it does not factor market conditions.  For example, Blockbuster Inc. suddenly faced intense competition from Netflix.

Personally I don’t want to see Yahoo! bought by a bigger company or have the company broken apart, but this move was pretty low on Yahoo!’s part.  In May 2008, the Yahoo! homepage received over 304 million unique visitors.  This is obviously going to tarnish Carl Icahn’s image.

Legg Mason, a 4.4% owner in Yahoo! announced today that they were going to favor Jerry Yang to remain as the CEO.  And several other investors are shifting towards favoring Yang.  Start the countdown.  Something big is going to happen at Yahoo! in exactly two weeks from today.

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This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at

Yahoo! Hits Icahn Below The Belt Comments

  1. Vikash Shah says:

    All that has gone on with Yahoo! in the past few months, I can say that I kind of appreciate the aggressive nature with putting a story on their front page. I mean they are taking out ALL the stops to save this company, and this is yet another example of how they don’t want to be dominated by investors like Carl Icahn or companies that may not respect them (ie. Microsoft).

  2. John says:

    Fight the man Yahoo!

  3. suehappy says:

    when Y! voters make the mistake of sticking with Yang, there will be massive shareholder lawsuits against the company. Yang and Co. made a huge mistake not selling the business. It isn’t Yang’s anymore. It belongs to shareholders, who have a single goal of earning higher returns. If Yang’s slate stays, start shorting the stock because it will end up being closer to a $15 stock than a $30 stock.

  4. Jeff L. says:

    Jerry, I love the “Icahn’s recent involvement with public companies” slide. Its poor quality and irrelevance reminds me of Yahoo’s products and your own career. Still, i guess it is nice propaganda that will be believed by any shareholder who owns Yahoo stock for the long run.

    I do have a few problems with it. First off, the market has declined significantly since Icahn invested in many of these companies. Since January 2007 (the midpoint of the listed involvements), the S&P 500 is down over %10. If a more appropriate proxy was used, Icahn’s relative performance wouldn’t look nearly as bad. Among the public companies listed are financial service firms, real estate developers, and highly levered firms. Now, considering today’s real estate market and credit crunch, can we attribute these stock prices to Icahn’s involvement? I don’t think so! Finally, as some one mentioned before, Carl deals with mismanaged troubled companies. In hard times, these companies are hit the worst and ultimately take years to be turned around.

    Another problem is that the percentages listed do not take into account any distributions made to shareholders. These include regular dividends, some very significant special dividends and spin-offs. For example, Temple Island paid a special dividend of $12.36 (41% yield) on Dec. 31, 2007. Just taking this one dividend into account, shareholders are roughly even since the time of Icahn’s involvement.

    Finally, the slide gives little credit to the opportunities Icahn’s involvement gave to shareholders. Carl’s $36 buyout offer for Lear is 60% higher than today’s share price. Similarly, WCI Communities shareholder’s could have garnered $22 a share for their stock. Its worth $1.26 today!

    Yahoo has gone to a new low with this garbage!

  5. suehappy is right says:

    yang is just a bad ceo. he was worse than semel. semel got fired because he couldnt compete with google and yang gets to stay just because he allowed the google to pimp their ads on yahoo… it just doesn’t make sense

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