Yahoo just threw investors a bone: It's hiring advisors to figure out what to do with Yahoo Japan

Yahoo has retained advisors to explore options for its Yahoo Japan stake, and the news appears to have lifted investors’ spirits after the company delivered an underwhelming Q1 earnings report.

During Yahoo’s earnings conference call on Tuesday, CEO Marissa Mayer said that “maximizing value” of its 35.5% stake in Yahoo Japan was a key priority.

Yahoo’s stock, which fell as much as 2 per cent after it released its Q1 financial results, bounced back to rise 1.15% in after-hours trading during the conference call.

Yahoo Japan is a joint venture between Yahoo and Softbank. It’s one of Yahoo’s two major Asian assets which have nothing to do with Yahoo’s core business but which have buoyed Yahoo’s share price in recent years.

In January, Yahoo said it would spin off its 15 per cent stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, currently valued at roughly $US32 billion, into a separate holding company. But Yahoo spoke only vaguely about Yahoo Japan at the time.

On Tuesday it threw Wall Street a bone…of sorts.

Monetizing the Yahoo Japan stake in a tax-efficient manner is something investors have long clamored for, but it’s not easy to do. Yahoo has explored ways to do it in the past without success.

Mayer hinted that the latest effort to monetise its Yahoo Japan stake might take some time, noting that although it is a key priority, it requires “careful study.”

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