Yahoo Prepares For $3 Billion Stock Buyback

    July 1, 2010

Yesterday, Yahoo’s stock hit a new 52-week low, touching $13.79 before closing at $13.84.  Things are looking rather brighter this morning, though, as the stock is up to $14.09 following a declaration that Yahoo may buy back $3 billion in common stock.

YahooThis announcement, which came via an SEC filing, provides an interesting window into the thought process at Yahoo.  Obviously, $3 billion is quite a lot of money, and could be used to hire all sorts of engineers, marketing hotshots, and content creators.  Or it could just be used to acquire a company or ten.

Yet Carol Bartz and Yahoo’s board of directors apparently agreed that a stock repurchase program was a better idea.  (And stock repurchase programs do tend to be popular with investors.)

Which leads us to one other thing that came to light in the SEC filing: how many votes the members of Yahoo’s board did (and didn’t) receive in the most recent election.  Carol Bartz survived and then some, with a votes for-votes against tally of about 1 billion to 6 million.

Roy Bostock and Arthur Kern are then the least popular board members, receiving around 80 million "votes against" each.

Anyway, to return to the subject of the stock buyback, we should note that it isn’t supposed to happen overnight, and it’s quite possible that something less than $3 billion will be involved.  Yahoo said in the SEC filing, "Yahoo! is authorized to repurchase up to $3 billion of its outstanding shares of common stock from time to time over the next three years."