Yahoo Shares Jump on Fresh Microsoft Talk

A search deal could be announced as soon as Thursday, according to reports.
Shares of Internet portal Yahoo were up about 2.5% on heavy trading in the mid-afternoon session as investors eyed the possibility that the company could soon strike a search deal with Microsoft. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that a deal could be announced as soon as Thursday.

Despite beating analysts' estimates, Yahoo shares fell 2.3% Tuesday in after hours trading after the company announced that operating income is likely to fall during the current quarter. Yahoo's Q2 revenues declined 13% year-over-year to $1.57 billion. Earnings per share increased 11% to $0.10 on net income of $141 million.

Yahoo on Tuesday unveiled its new Front Doors homepage. It offers direct links to popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, Ebay, and others. The links can be added to a new "My Favorites" column that appears on the home page's left hand side.

Earlier this month, Yahoo introduced its news Search Pad feature. Still in beta testing, it gives users a platform on which they can create notes based on their search results, share the information with friends, family, or business associates, and save the results for future use.

Yahoo's efforts to spruce up its online presence could make it more attractive acquisition or partnership target.

Terms of a possible deal with Microsoft are uncertain, but the companies in the past have explored arrangements that would see Microsoft acquire Yahoo's search advertising business for a combination of upfront cash and ongoing payments.

Google presently controls about 65% of the U.S. search market, while Microsoft owns only about 8% of the market, according to the most recent numbers from ComScore. Yahoo, the number two player, held 20% of the market, as of May.

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