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Single's Day Sales Give Yahoo! a Boost

Daniel James
November 15, 2013

Sometimes mentioned as being an investment bank in disguise, Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO) makes a substantial amount of money from its stake in Alibaba. As such, good news from the Chinese marketplace website tends to send Yahoo! shares higher as well. Alibaba had a strong showing on this year's Single's Day, China's biggest annual online shopping day, which caused Yahoo! to rally. Competitor Dangdang (NYSE: DANG) also rallied in sympathy, while Vipshop (NYSE: VIPS) dipped on the day following a downgrade.

Happy Single's Day!
Contrary to many other cultures that have a day for celebrating the joys of being in a relationship, or at least being attracted to someone, the Chinese have developed a specific day for celebrating their bachelor life. As a reaction to the cultural norms which prescribe people to be in a relationship or coupling of some sort, a few students came up with the idea of celebrating being alone. As such, the holiday has no real religious or cultural-historical background, but it does bring in a substantive amount of money for online retailers because the day has evolved into a retail holiday of sorts.

This year, retail giant Alibaba smashed its one-day sales record, bringing in 35 billion yuan, or $5.75 billion. For comparison, the company raked in some 19.1 billion yuan last year. As for the bigger picture, Yahoo! recently reported a very strong quarter for Alibaba with revenue surging around 60% to $1.73 billion. Yahoo! currently has a 24% stake in Alibaba, but is looking to pare its holdings as Alibaba is borrowing about $3 billion to buy back its stock .

Alibaba is becoming so large that it's considering an IPO of its own. After negations for a public offering broke down in Hong Kong, the firm is now looking to get listed in the U.S. Expectations are high with analysts expecting the e-commerce company to be valued at around $100 billion, which would make it the biggest IPO since Facebook. According to Alibaba's CEO, the company is on track to overtake Wal-Mart as the world's largest retail network by 2016.

Dangdang and Vipshop
Alibaba's main competitor Dangdang got a huge boost from the Single's Day cheer, the stock surging nearly 11%. Within one minute of the start of the Single's Day sale, Dangdang's raked in some $19 million, with turnover reachi