Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Yahoo investors expected to focus on Alibaba

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — As analysts gather to meet with Yahoo Inc.'s management on Wednesday, a key area of concern will be the health of the company's valuable Asian investments — and its ability to manage them.

The meeting is taking place at Yahoo's /quotes/comstock/15*!yhoo/quotes/nls/yhoo YHOO +0.09% Silicon Valley headquarters on Wednesday morning. It comes at a time of mounting worries about the way the company mishandled the stunning revelation that ownership of the Alipay online payment business had been transferred from Alibaba Group -- in which Yahoo owns a 43% stake -- to another entity.

"How is management handling the situation with Alipay's stealthy transfer of ownership?" Caris & Co. analyst Sandeep Aggarwal wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday. "We expect some assurances post [the] shocking ownership change."

Such assurances are critical because of a key fact: A big chunk of Yahoo's value, in the view of many investors, is in its Asian assets, including its stake in the Alibaba Group.


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