Is Yahoo Well-Positioned for the Future?

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With shares of Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) trading around $40, is YHOO an OUTPERFORM, WAIT AND SEE, or STAY AWAY? Let’s analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework:

T = Trends for a Stock’s Movement

Yahoo is a technology company that provides search, content, and communication tools on the web and on mobile devices worldwide. It operates Yahoo.com, which offers Yahoo Search, Yahoo News, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Entertainment and Lifestyles, and Yahoo Video. Being such a large content provider, Yahoo is able to reach a significant amount of consumers across the globe. As the internet attracts an increasing number of participants, look for Yahoo to continue to be a major player.

Since taking the helm at Yahoo in July 2012, Marissa Mayer has made some dramatic and expensive moves. Her latest decision to discharge the company’s second in command, chief operating officer Henrique de Castro, can be counted among them. In an internal memo obtained by the tech website Re/code, Mayer reflects on her pride in the company’s achievements throughout 2013 as well as her optimism for the year ahead. “During my own reflection,” she writes, “I made the difficult decision that our COO, Henrique de Castro, should leave the company.”

The tides at Yahoo have certainly turned. It was just over a year ago that Mayer pilfered de Castro from Google — her old stomping grounds – to serve as the company’s “top ad executive and liaison to marketers on Madison Avenue,” reports the Wall Street Journal. But apparently, he couldn’t deliver. In 2013, Facebook overtook Yahoo as the second largest seller of digital ads worldwide, according to a report by eMarketer. Yahoo’s percentage of total digital ad share worldwide also tumbled from 3.37 percent in 2012 to 2.87 percent in 2013. No matter how you shake it, Mayer’s change of heart will be costly. According to the Journal, de Castro’s severance package could be worth as much as $42.1 million, which includes $41.5 million in restricted shares, $600,000 in cash severance and $7,672 worth of continued health benefits.

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