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Yahoo Falls the Most Since July on Japanese Economy Concern

The Yahoo! Japan website is displayed on a monitor in Tokyo. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg
The Yahoo! Japan website is displayed on a monitor in Tokyo. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

March 15 (Bloomberg) -- Yahoo! Inc. fell the most in almost eight months in Nasdaq trading after Yahoo Japan Corp., its joint venture in Japan, declined on concern about the effects last week’s earthquake will have on the nation’s economy.

Yahoo, which owns about one-third of Yahoo Japan, slid 98 cents, or 5.7 percent, to $16.33 at 4 p.m. New York time on the Nasdaq Stock Market, the biggest drop since July 21. The shares have lost 1.8 percent this year.

The owner of the largest U.S. Web portal derives about one-fourth of its market value from Tokyo-based Yahoo Japan, which it co-owns with Softbank Corp., said Clay Moran, an analyst at Benchmark Co. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index posted its biggest two-day drop since 1987 following the temblor and three explosions at a stricken nuclear power plant.

“It’s certainly safe to say it’s the macro issues in Japan,” said Moran, who is based in Boca Raton, Florida. He has a “hold” rating on Yahoo shares and doesn’t own any.

A secondary concern for investors may be how the situation in Japan affects what Yahoo does with its stake in Yahoo Japan, Moran said. Yahoo has held talks to dispose of the holding, two people familiar with the matter said this month.

Yahoo Japan plunged 8.3 percent in Tokyo trading today, the largest one-day drop in two years. That followed a 5.4 percent decline yesterday.

Yahoo, based in Sunnyvale, California, gets about one-third of its after-tax earnings from Yahoo Japan, Jordan Rohan, an analyst at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., said today in a research note.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Womack in San Francisco at bwomack1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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