Monday, May 19, 2008

More on Yahoo

Carl Icahn is the "indirect beneficial owner" of a little more than 59 million shares of stock of Yahoo.

As I noted in yesterday's entry, citing his letter to the board, some of these are actual shares, some are "share-equivalents."

What that means, according to other recent SEC filings, is that Icahn owns about 10 million actual shares and more than 49 million call options.

Yahoo's annual meeting is set for early July. I don't believe a record date has been set yet, so he could presumably convert all of those call options into actual voting shares in time to use them at the meeting.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has given off equivocal signals about whether it has really "moved on" or whether it wants a deal with Yahoo still and, if the latter, what kind of deal it now wants. It doesn't want to acquire Yahoo anymore, but it wants a "collaboration," apparently having something to do with advertising and eyeballs.

MS hasn't made much progress lately in turning itself into an internet company. It remains wedded to the desktop model which (though comfortably profitable and likely to remain so for awhile yet) seems a bit like the wave of the past.

One amusing sidenote. A columnist in the Wall Street Journal recently suggested that what MS ought to do is split itself up. The specifics of the split-up he suggested sounded a lot like -- the trial judge's divestiture order of a few years back, one that MS appealed and freed themselves from.

Everything old is new again.

So where do things go from here? Wish I knew.

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