The Mayer effect: Yahoo! shares hit new 18-month high

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So it may not actually be in talks with Facebook for a search deal, but investor confidence in Yahoo! is higher than it has been for a long time.

According to Reuters, the company’s shares reached its highest level in a year and a half. The Sunnyvale internet giant has come a long way in the last 18 months, rocked by internal battles with a quick CEO turnaround in the last year.

The appointment of ex-Google executive Marissa Mayer has however given the ailing giant a new lease on life.

According the report, bigwig hedge funds such as Tiger Global Management and Greenlight Capital Management have disclosed “large stakes in Yahoo!, accumulated during the third quarter”.

“Money managers are starting to want to own this name again,” Colin Gillis, an analyst with BGC Partners told Reuters.

“For the amount of traffic they have, and the assets they have, they should be able to squeeze some value out of that,” Gillis said, referring to Yahoo. With Mayer at the helm, he said, Yahoo! has “finally got somebody who the market believes can do that.”

Since Mayer’s takeover she has poached a few Googlers to the Yahoo! fold, the biggest being Henrique de Castro as COO who Yahoo had been chasing for the some time.

Venture Capitalist Adam Seessel, whose firm owns Yahoo! shares, believes the hiring of Mayer and the subsequent Googlers who followed is a good thing for the company’s image.

“What the market is seeing is not (financial) numbers so much as they’re seeing people voting with their feet, people moving from Google to Yahoo,” Seessel told Reuters.

“All these people from Google wouldn’t be following her if they didn’t think that she didn’t have some good cards to play,” he added.

Even though Mayer’s success has not been seen on Wall Street, what is clear is that investors are willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and back the company more openly.

Mayer’s tenure at Yahoo! so far has incited a fair amount of conversation around the type of company Yahoo will be under its new CEO. So far she seems to be taking back the company to its search roots and tech focused innovations.

Image: Adam Tinworth

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