Merrill Lynch Cautious on Yahoo! Inc.’s (YHOO) Outlook Ahead of Monday’s Earnings Report

Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) is set to release its second-quarter financial results after the markets close on Monday, July 18. Consensus estimates call for $0.09 in earnings per share (EPS) on $840 million in revenue.

Merrill Lynch analyst Justin Post expects Mavens growth to remain largely driven by native display for now and to track below peer growth trends. Post’s 2Q revenue and EPS estimates are for $845 and $0.11 respectively, in-line with the Street. However, the analyst remains cautious on the forward outlook and is slightly below Street for 2016 at $3.49 billion/$0.46 versus the Street at $3.51 billion/$0.49, respectively.

Post wrote, “We expect secular mobile pressures on Yahoo to continue and Yahoo’s revenue outlook to come in-line to below Street estimates. That said, we believe expectations are low at this point, and believe sentiment is more sensitive to updates on a potential sale of the core business/real estate/IP, long-term plans for the stake in Yahoo Japan, and potential cash return to shareholders. While we do not expect any financial details on bid activity for core Yahoo, we would expect indications that the process is moving along, which would likely be well-received. Bottom line: If Yahoo core can be sold, and there are any signs of resolution on Yahoo Japan, the implied tax/liquidity discount on the remaining Alibaba stake could decline, helping the stock.”

The analyst reiterated a Buy rating on shares of Yahoo!, with a price target of $48, which represents a potential upside of 27% from where the stock is currently trading.

Post has a very good TipRanks score with a 71% success rate and he stands at #31 out of 4,060 on the analyst leaderboard.

Out of the 36 analysts polled by TipRanks, 18 rate Yahoo! stock a Buy, 16 rate the stock a Hold and 2 recommend to Sell. With a return potential of 12%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $42.11.



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