Standard & Poor's Wednesday downgraded its assessment of Yahoo! shares from buy to hold.
The downgrade is based on valuation at $42.78 per share in the Internet search engine.
"After a rise in Yahoo! shares by some 33 percent since Sept. 21, we now see upside potential as more limited," Scott Kessler, an equity analyst at the credit-rating agency, said in a news release. S&P had anticipated Yahoo! shares going up to $45.
"We think Yahoo!'s notable exposure to stock options could be construed unfavourably as 2006 approaches; the company will have to begin expensing them next year," Kessler added.
Nonetheless, Kessler remained broadly upbeat about the company, stating that Yahoo! "is a prime beneficiary of online advertising growth."
Copyright 2005 by United Press International
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