Yahoo, Microsoft shares sag, post-deadline

After the weekend's inaction on the Microhoo front and ahead of whatever comes next, investors shave off some value from both companies' stock.

Updated at 1:30 p.m. PDT with closing information.

Shares of Yahoo and Microsoft gave up ground Monday, following the passing of Microsoft's closely watched Saturday deadline without the parties hammering out a merger deal .

Shares of Yahoo closed at $26.43 Monday, off 1.38 percent from its close of $26.80 on Friday. Investors were initially feeling a little more bullish at the start of the session, pushing the shares up as high as $27.09.

Throughout the day, Yahoo's stock tried to rally, but toward the end of the trading day began to slump.

Microsoft shares, meanwhile, closed at $28.99 per share, down about 3 percent from Friday's close. The software giant's share price largely edged down throughout the trading day.

And as Microsoft's shares dip, the value of its .

This week, Microsoft is expected to lay out its next plan of action , which executives ranging from CEO Steve Ballmer to chief bean counter Chris Liddell have previously said could include going directly to Yahoo shareholders via a tender offer or a proxy fight , as well as withdrawing the offer .

CNET News.com readers who participated in our poll regarding Microsoft's options are largely betting that it will "walk away" from the acquisition bid, with 44.8 percent of the votes. A close 39 percent are betting on a proxy fight, and 16.2 percent say a tender offer is likely.

Keep in mind that Microsoft could do all three, and in any order.

One path that Microsoft could take, for example, assuming that Yahoo doesn't call an annual shareholder meeting in the interim, would be to withdraw its offer for a month or two, and let Yahoo's stock give up some ground.

It may not make sense for Microsoft to roll out its proxy slate until it gets closer to forcing Yahoo to hold a shareholder meeting. At the earliest point, it could head to the Delaware Chancery Court to make the request July 13.

In the meantime, between withdrawing its offer and announcing its proxy slate, Microsoft may want to announce a tender offer, giving investors a real piece of meat to put on their plate and, hence, a reason to vote in Microsoft's opposition slate. The question is, will that piece be tasty enough for investors?

 

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