It was a rough week all around for stocks (once again), but the decline was especially galling for holders of shares in companies that had earlier attracted unsolicited offers. Two big would-be targets, neither of which is still being hunted, were in the news again this week: Yahoo and SanDisk. And the news wasn’t good.
Jerry Yang and the rest of the Yahoo-ers (at least the ones who survived the 10% job cuts) revealed that business was a bit soft in the third quarter. Sales were stagnant, and the search engine earned only one-third the amount that it did during the same period last year. So much for their go-it-alone plan. You’ll recall that Yahoo repeatedly brushed aside a $31-per-share offer from Microsoft earlier this year. The stock closed Thursday at $12.65, near its lowest level since mid-2003.
Meanwhile, SanDisk shares also hit a five-and-half-year low after Samsung on Tuesday pulled its $5.85bn unsolicited offer for the flash memory card maker. Samsung aired its offer of $26 for each SanDisk share in September, after several months of unsuccessful overtures. SanDisk shares closed Thursday at $9.14. That means the rejection by SanDisk’s board has cost shareholders more than the rejection by Yahoo’s much-pilloried board, at least on a relative basis. SanDisk shares are changing hands at about 65% below Samsung’s offer, while Yahoo stock is trading ‘only’ 59% below Microsoft’s bid.