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Bernstein Bearish, Says YHOO Should Break Up

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Sometimes the whole of something isn’t worth the sum of its parts. An analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein thinks someone needs to do to Yahoo what Bruce Lee used to do to his on-screen foes and bust it into pieces.

Bernstein Bearish, Says YHOO Should Break Up
Bernstein Bearish, Says YHOO Should Break Up

Not everyone shares the effervescent confidence conveyed to Yahoo management in a recent meeting featuring Steve Jobs. In fact, the company’s business has one investment firm bubbling hot under the collar.

A Reuters report picked up on Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Jeffrey Lindsay’s assessment of Yahoo, where the analyst believes Yahoo has a lot to gain from being rendered into little pieces:

The company, which lags Web search leader Google Inc and faces greater competition for its e-mail services, could be worth as much $45 per share with a dramatic overhaul that would include outsourcing its paid search, cutting staff by 25 percent and restructuring its graphic display advertising, according to Lindsay.

“It appears that Yahoo will not take bold measures to right the ship,” he wrote in a research report. “We believe that Yahoo still has a potentially high intrinsic value. We believe, however, that to stop the inevitable slide into irrelevance the management team must consider more radical actions and strategies.”

With regards to the staff cuts Lindsay advocates, note that Yahoo’s management meeting brought more than 300 people with titles of vice-president or higher to the all-day session. Yahoo brings in millions of visitors to its properties each month, but do they need that many executives to manage the infrastructure supporting those visitors?

Lindsay would make one big infrastructure change to Yahoo, a “Back To The Future” style return to Google managing Yahoo’s search marketing endeavors. Yahoo has long lagged behind Google

Bernstein Bearish, Says YHOO Should Break Up
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