Institutional investors are said to be growing increasingly antsy at Yahoo's (NSDQ: YHOO) insistence at playing hard to getit's understandable, seeing as Steve Ballmer could wake up on the wrong side of the bed any day, withdraw his offer, and Yahoo shares would get summarily flensed. A survey of 20 shareholders done by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster found that most would rather see the company take Microsoft's (NSDQ: MSFT) offer than pursue a go-it-alone strategy. But Yahoo Chairman Bostock is having none of it. In an interview with Bloomberg, Bostock said response from investors to the company's own growth plans has been "very positive". He specifically said the company's approach to handling Microsoft was "informed" by the response from shareholders to the company's presentations. Clearly, we've got a bit of a disconnectwe're guessing investors have an easier time telling Gene Munster how they really feel.
Meanwhile, the events of this weekend and yesterday hasn't changed the general view that some deal is likely to get done. In a note written before Yahoo's response, UBS analyst Ben Schachter maintained a high possibility of a deal getting done: "We think reaching a mutual agreement would be the best way for Yahoo! to potentially extract a higher bid; the alternative would be for Yahoo! shareholders to tender, although this process would not be as expeditious as if the two sides were to come to terms, and could involve a lower offer price as indicated in the letter, making the battle potentially even more protracted." TechTraderDaily has a roundup of some other viewsnobody disagrees that a deal will happen, though analysts differ on whether the latest ratcheting up of the rhetoric will affect the ultimate bid price.
By Joseph Weisenthal