Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Lucky 13: After More Than a Dozen Failing Quarters, How Will New Yahoo CEO Roll the Dice?

Yahoo will report its fourth quarter earnings tomorrow, after the markets close, which most expect to be lackluster compared to a year ago.

To call this report a surprise would be, well, wrong.

In fact, it will be the 13th quarter in which the Silicon Valley Internet giant has done worse that the previous year. (This has happened as Internet advertising has boomed for sites like Google and Facebook, as a point of reference.)

Welcome aboard, new CEO Scott Thompson! Now, what are you going to do about it?

Probably cut costs first, including staff, and try to quickly figure out an all-new, this-time-it’ll-take strategery about what to do to turnaround the much beleaguered Yahoo.

But, first, the depressing quarter to deliver again.

The estimates for that weak performance have a range, but the consensus of analysts is expecting revenue to be $1.19 billion on profits of 23 to 24 cents. If Yahoo has managed to rein in costs more than expected, some analysts are hoping for a slightly better report.

Still, all the indications are for more negative signs in user engagement, search share, display advertising stats and more.

Thus, we await the light at the end of the tunnel.

As Citigroup’s Mark Mahaney noted in his cheat-sheet analysis:

“Valuation remains intriguing, but we’re still waiting for convincing Top-Line Turnaround Story Proof. With new CEO Scott Thompson, we believe YHOO will be another wait-and-see turn-around story.”

Of course, much of the action is taking place elsewhere, with the company ferreting away at the deal to sell off a big stake in Yahoo’s Asian assets and also subtracting and adding new board members.

But tomorrow, it’s once more unto the Wall Street breach, dear friends, or close the wall up with our purple dread.

Until the results are in, here’s a recent video I did for WSJ.com’s online Digits show on the possible layoffs at Yahoo:


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work