Markets & Finance

First Albany Raises Yahoo! to 'Buy'

First Albany upgraded Yahoo! (YHOO) to buy from neutral.

Analyst Youssef Squall says he upgrades on the recent stock pullback and increased revenue and EPS estimates for 2004. He says this is driven by positive on-line advertising trends, strong subscriber growth at the SBC and BT broadband services. He thinks relatively weak comps (with first quarter 2003) and less pronounced seasonality can drive year-over-year growth in branded advertising by over 25%.

Squall notes that SBC Yahoo! and BT Yahoo! is gaining traction, evident in SBC's (SBC) guidance to add more than 1.5 million lines in the next 12 months and BT's reaching 2 million broadband subscribers in February, 2004 - 10 months ahead of schedule.

Squall raised his 56 cents 2004 EPS estimate to 57 cents, and his $47 price target to $48.

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