By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc plans to spin off its 15 percent stake in China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd , responding to pressure to hand over to shareholders its prized e-commerce investment valued at roughly $40 billion. Shares of Yahoo were up roughly 7 percent at $51.45 in after-hours trading on Tuesday, following the tax-free spin off announcement and earnings which just beat analysts forecasts even as its revenues slightly lagged estimates. Shareholders feel that Yahoo and its stake in Alibaba would be worth more separately, so long as the Alibaba shares are not subject to the standard 35 percent tax rate that would be incurred from selling the shares. They don't want to fritter it away." Yahoo’s market value is about $45 billion, while its Alibaba stake alone is worth nearly $40 billion, meaning the current Yahoo share price assigns little value to the core business.
Apple Inc quarterly results smashed Wall Street expectations with record sales of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus smartphones in the holiday shopping season and strong sales in China, although the United States remained the top iPhone market. Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri told Reuters in an interview that the company did not sell more iPhones in China than the United States, despite some earlier predictions by research analysts.