Twenty-one years after its incorporation and sixteen years after its stock peak, Yahoo sold for 96% less than its value on January 3, 2000, when it had closed at an all-time high of $118.75 per share, resulting in a market capitalization of $120 billion. Wall Street valued Yahoo!, at that time in business less than six years, higher than it did Disney, News Corporation, and Comcast combined.
At the end of 2016, the top seven businesses on the list of the highest-valued companies in the world by market capitalization include Apple at #1, Alphabet (Google's Parent Company) at #2, Amazon.com at #5, and Facebook at #7. Those companies combined are valued in excess of $2 trillion more than the price Verizon paid to acquire Yahoo!
Yahoo!'s story is one of missed strategies, failed opportunities, and poor execution. Early decisions to de-emphasize search features, undervalue Google, and overplay Yahoo's hand in the Facebook negotiations haunted the rest of the company's existence. In addition, factors outside of Yahoo's control-most notably how irrational expectations of Wall Street created an environment where short-term decisions were made at the expense of the long-term good.
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