JP Morgan analyst Imran Khan makes a half-hearted case for Yahoo this morning. Much like the argument that Merrill’s Jessica Reif Cohen made for Warner Music Group last week, Imran isn’t suggesting that Yahoo’s made a fundamental turnaround — just that it doesn’t suck as bad as the market thinks.
The upside according to Imran:
• YHOO may have another $80 million in FY08 revenue coming from partnership deals.
• Internet advertising in general should get a bump this year as TV ad inventory shrinks — audiences will be lower because of the strike , and a heated presidential campaign means many of the available spots will be taken.
• YHOO’s Q4 was ok: Imran projects 20% y/y growth for display ads.
• Panama is working. Yahoo’s search share continues to drop, but it seems able to generate more money on each search result it sells: Khan projects revenue per search growth of 23% this year.
The news about Q4 and Panama are indeed positives for Yahoo. But as we noted last week, they don’t mean that Yahoo’s core problems have been fixed. And as we said Friday, we’re not yet persuaded YHOO CEO Jerry Yang is the man to fix them.
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