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Yahoo! tries to whip investors into line

Promises moon on a stick

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Yahoo! increased the pressure on Microsoft to up its offer for the internet firm yesterday by telling investors it expects to double cash flow over the next three years.

Jerry Yang gave the presentation to institutional shareholders in order to persuade them that the company is worth more than the $44bn Microsoft has offered for it. Some observers also interpreted the presentation as evidence that Yahoo! had failed to find alternative suitors.

Yahoo! expects to double operating cash flow from $1.9bn to $3.7bn and bring in $8.8bn in revenue excluding traffic aquisition costs (TAC) in 2010.

The statement said Yahoo! is still looking for alternatives to the Microsoft offer.

Yahoo! said it expected to bring in $1.9bn in extra revenue over three years from display and video advertising - faster growth than the market generally. It also predicts $1.4bn in extra search revenue - in line with expected growth.

The company talked up its "Starting Points" strategy of concentrating on websites which users return to several times a day.

The company claims 305 million unique monthly users of its homepage and 262 million unique monthly users of its email service.

In other news, Chinese business ecommerce site Alibaba is looking for investors to fund a buyback of the 39 per cent stake in the company owned by Yahoo!, according to Reuters.

Alibaba clearly thinks the takeover will go ahead and wishes to stay out of Microsoft's grip. The 2005 agreement with Yahoo! gives Alibaba right of first refusal should Yahoo! wish to sell its stake.

Read the Yahoo! statement here.®

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