Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Yahoo Earnings–There's Got to Be a Morning After?

Will this be the last shoe to drop–at least this month–at Yahoo?

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Tomorrow, the struggling Internet search giant will announce its second quarter earnings at 5 p.m. EDT (2 p.m. PDT).

The company is expected to have no gain in profit year to year. That translates to 11 cents a share for the quarter on $1.24 billion in net sales, the same earnings as the second quarter last year.

Newly installed CEO and Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang will have to power through the call with new President Sue Decker. Its former CEO Terry Semel left the company days after the annual meeting last month, when the current weak quarter’s results were obviously going to become a bone of contention.

Having Semel make more excuses to investors would have been problematic, to say the least.

Here’s a video from MarketWatch about analyst expectations on the quarter for the Web giants:

Since Semel’s departure, the company’s ad sales chief Wenda Millard was also ousted, one in a long line of executive departures, all presumably designed to turn around Yahoo, but looking a little too much like garden-variety management turmoil. In any case, someone or something has to start moving the needle at Yahoo–especially given that it lags so far behind industry powerhouse Google and its next-in-line rival Microsoft is speeding up fast behind it.

I can say categorically that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is obviously aiming not at toppling Google at this point, but at grabbing the No. 2 spot from Yahoo in the Internet search market.

That could happen quickly, given the software giant’s deep pockets and drive. Data published last week, for example, showed Microsoft’s share of the search business rising 67%, to 13.2%, while Yahoo’s only rose 6.6%, to 19.6%. Google, of course, is at a runaway 62.7%.

At least Yahoo shares, which have remained lackluster, are not likely to be impacted, as the disappointment is already baked in. And many analysts are saying things are only likely to get better at the company, especially with the implementation of its new Panama ad search system in place finally.

Both Google and Microsoft report earnings later in the week, too. In Google’s case, most are waiting to see if it blows away estimates–which would not necessarily give a bump to its high-flying stock–or just meets them, which could clip the wings of its shares. Amazon and eBay earnings are also on deck.

Please see this disclosure related to me and Google.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik