Monday, February 07, 2011

More Bad News from Yahoo

Sadly, even last month's improved Yahoo profit didn't do enough to lift it's equity price up anywhere near enough to make Carol Bartz' 18 months heading the firm look positive.

In fact, the firm's performance over the period now stands at roughly half the return of the S&P500 Index, as shown in the nearby chart.

It seems that Facebook's rise as the social networking phenomenon- large enough to worry Google- has now totally eclipsed the old self-proclaimed social networking site- Yahoo.

In this post, written last May, I confirmed my belief that Bartz was brought in too late for even someone with her considerable talents to rescue Yahoo. That post mentioned Facebook's performance as surpassing Yahoo's on a measure of ad display impressions.

The language emanating from Yahoo concerning their recent results has become full-mode corporate speak. For example, this from Bartz,

"We're not trying to cut our way to revenue growth. We're investing for future revenue growth."

Well, yes. Except it's just not working. In a Facebook world, nobody thinks about Yahoo as a connection site anymore. It's just one more free information site. With a deal with Microsoft involving Bing, if I recall, that brought some much-needed money.

AOL, now spun back out from the disastrous TimeWarner linkage, just announced this morning that it is buying the online Huffington Post for $315MM. Does anyone really care that much? What does AOL bring to the table?

In the natural, Schumpeterian order of business, Yahoo and AOL, two giants of the early internet era, have now lost purpose and significance. I wonder just who even owns shares in these firms anymore?

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