Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Another One Bites the Dust: Yahoo Shares Dip as Einhorn Sells Off Stake

It all started off so well.

But it didn’t go on for long in the case of David Einhorn’s high-profile hedge fund Greenlight Capital, which today dumped an investment it made earlier this year in Yahoo on high hopes of the value of the Internet giant’s stake in China’s Alibaba Group.

That was before the ugly public fight Yahoo got into with Alibaba over its Alipay payment unit and especially with its voluble CEO Jack Ma.

In a letter to investors, Einhorn (pictured right) said the kerfuffle, which has hit Yahoo’s stock hard, “wasn’t what we signed up for.”

Yahoo shares are down just below two percent today and are now at $15.52 each.

Einhorn said in the letter that his fund had “a modest loss” in Yahoo, which sources said was about $20 million.

Einhorn had bought less than .65 percent of Yahoo, or about 8.5 million shares in March, which he said was due to his feeling that the company was undervalued with regard to its Asian assets.

Said Einhorn at the time: “We would not be surprised if YHOO’s 40 percent stake in Alibaba Group alone was ultimately worth YHOO’s entire current market value.”

Fast forward to today:

“The Partnership bought Yahoo! (YHOO) earlier this year based on a sum of the parts analysis, which included putting substantial value on its Chinese assets. Shortly after the purchase, the value of the Chinese assets came into doubt as the CEO of the Chinese unit hived-off a valuable subsidiary into a corporation that he personally controls. From there, the finger pointing started in every direction. This wasn’t what we signed up for. We exited with a modest loss.”

Here’s the full Einhorn letter, which appeared on zerohedge.com:


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik