/// Will the "Marissa Mayer Premium" — or Is It Those Hedge Fund Dudes Piling in — Finally Get Yahoo’s Stock to $20 a Share?
They like her, they really like her. Wall Street, that is, in regards to new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, assigning the former Google exec a clear premium. And whether it is deserved or not yet from a pure performance perspective — we actually won’t know for several quarters ahead — the shares of the Silicon Valley Internet giant over the past three months have gone up 22 percent. The rise has taken place pretty much on the promise that she will finally be the one to deliver what no other Yahoo leader has done. And that is, besides making the company relevant and innovative again: Getting Yahoo’s stock past $20 a share again. That’s within striking distance now. Shares are at $18.40 today, close to an all-time high for the year. The recent rise certainly isn’t taking into account the results of the recent lackluster third quarter , which continued to show the worrisome downward trends — even though partial asset sales of the company’s Chinese Alibaba stake successfully masked the problems — in growth, engagement and overall profitability. But Mayer’s confident I’ve-got-this tones on the earnings call itself — especially in pushing a mobile strategy that has not been put in place as yet in any substantive way — won over Wall Street investors, who apparently like how she sounds and, thus, are intrigued with what she might do . While this kind of perceptual game will only get Yahoo so far, moving out of the teens in share price would be an important benchmark for the company. The stock was last at that level in August of 2008.
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