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Morgan Stanley Rates Yahoo! Outperform

Yahoo! () posted $0.01 vs. $0.13 Q3 earnings per share (pro forma). Morgan Stanley rates the shares outperform.

Analyst Mary Meeker says Yahoo's $6.8 million EBITDA is ahead of her $120,000 estimate due to operations expenses control. She notes that company lowered its $700 million to $738 million 2001 revenue forecast to $688 million to $708 million and narrowed $0 to $50 million EBITDA range to $10 million to $25 million.

Meeker cut her $190 million fourth quarter revenue estimate to $166 million, but raised her $2.2 million EBITDA forecast to $2.5 million. She sees $715 million 2002 revenue and $30 million EBITDA. She says YHOO shares are compelling and that the company has potential for a powerful turnaround (financial leverage) whenever the economy turns. She says the company has a balance sheet to wait out the economy, underlying brand strength, and demand characteristics placing it in a unique spot.

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