Hostilities erupt between Yahoo and Microsoft

Hey, looks like now it’s an official *hostile takeover* attempt from Microsoft in the battle for the internet giant Yahoo.

Yahoo declined Microsoft’s offer of last week and in this press release Microsoft basically declares their intention to duke it out.    I’m surprised they have not upped the ante yet, but perhaps they are waiting for more drama and information before making a “final” offer to the Yahoo board before taking this directly to Yahoo shareholders.    Although I think most shareholders would take the MS offer it’s clear the *big* shareholders like Jerry Yang don’t want to, so perhaps Yahoo can win a proxy battle for the company.    I have a hunch however that the institutional investors, and the legions of small time folks like me, would jump at a 34+ offer and probably even take the current one unless Yahoo shows a lot more signs of life than screaming out the current rallying cry “We are fighting Microsoft!”

Microsoft PE=16, forward PE=13!

Wow.    As Yahoo rebuffs them and Microsoft shares continue to take a beating from  what appears to be Yahoo aquisition unhappiness, the PE of this mega company is looking nothing short of spectacular.    Some would argue that Microsoft is slowly dying due to the massive changes in the way people and businesses use software, but it’s foolish to think Microsoft’s prospects are dim under the current conditions.   In my view they are simply making too much money, and remain a key player in a key industry, to deserve this low market valuation.  

If the Yahoo merger happens the PE at MSFT will take a hit, but it would clearly remain well under 20, a very modest PE for a company that still has significant growth potential.

But, I guess like other investors I’m a herd animal and fearful, so I won’t be buying MSFT….quite yet.

Disclosure:  Long on Yahoo, no Microsoft position.