Lehman Ups Yahoo! to 'Buy'

Analyst Holly Becker thinks the Internet portal's estimates finally are low enough, and thinks the stock price is more sensible

Lehman Brothers upgraded Yahoo! (YHOO ) to buy from market perform.

Analyst Holly Becker says much has changed in recent months: estimates have come down, she's beginning to see management changes and the stock price is down sharply from its 2001 high. Becker now thinks estimates finally are low enough, and thinks Yahoo!'s valuation is much more reasonable. She adds that the stock's downside is protected by takeover potential, and says she's now convinced the worst is over and that the risk/reward ratio is favorable for long-term investors.

Becker says it is now widely understood that Yahoo!'s business model needs to change, adding that management appears more open-minded and ready to move. She says a new CEO will have a myriad of options to monetize Yahoo!'s valuable platform and re-accelerate growth. She sees breakeven 2002 EPS and $0.10 2002 EPS.

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