Yahoo Japan Corp. (4689), operator of the country’s most-visited Web portal, surged the most since at least 2003 in Tokyo trading after raising its annual profit forecast and announcing plans to buy back shares.
Yahoo Japan jumped as much as 21 percent to 38,600 yen and traded at 37,500 yen as of 9:52 a.m. on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. That’s the biggest gain since it was listed on the exchange’s first section in October 2003. Net income for the 12 months ending March 31 may be as much as 112.1 billion yen ($1.2 billion), compared with a previous estimate of as much as 109.6 billion yen, the company said in a statement yesterday.
The website operator, about 42 percent owned by Softbank Corp. (9984), cited higher advertising revenue for its site designed for smartphones in raising its forecast. Tokyo-based Yahoo Japan is forming partnerships and acquiring companies including CyberAgent Inc. (4751)’s foreign-exchange unit to expand services.
“Expectations for faster growth, which the company hasn’t seen in years, are driving gains for Yahoo Japan’s shares,” said Takashi Oba, a senior strategist at Okasan Securities Co. “The buyback plan is also fueling today’s gains.”
The company said yesterday it plans to buy back as much as 1.4 percent of its outstanding shares for 20 billion yen. The shares will be canceled after the buyback, it said.
Yahoo Japan is about 35 percent owned by Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO:US), operator of the largest U.S. web portal. The American company fell the most since August in New York trading yesterday after giving first-quarter and full-year sales forecasts that fell short of some analysts’ estimates.
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