Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Up Is Down and Down Is Up: Yahoo Stock Waxes, While Apple Wanes


I like a good dichotomy as much as the next person, which is why I decided to compare the shares of Yahoo with that of Apple over the recent time period.

That’s because in what amounts to a trading-places moment, despite their differences in focus, the pair have had almost polar opposite stock performances of late.

Yahoo, of course, is the famous Internet giant that has been trying to turn itself around for a very long time; Apple is the Silicon Valley phenom that has been wowing the sector for just as much time with endless innovative products.

Typically, that state of affairs has meant that Apple has enjoyed a rocket ship of a ride from Wall Street investors, while Yahoo has suffered. That’s certainly been true on a five-year basis, with Apple up 244 percent and Yahoo down 21 percent.

But in the last six months, it has been another story altogether. In that time, Apple has been sliding to its lowest price since September, down 35 percent. Meanwhile, Yahoo has surged nearly 50 percent in the time frame.

It’s the same story for the past three months, with Apple down 27 percent and Yahoo up 17 percent; and, the last month, with the Cupertino, Calif.-based device maker down 5 percent and the nearby Sunnyvale Internet portal up 11 percent.

It’s a classic story of hope, with investors counting on Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to turn the tide at the long-suffering company, while they worry about Apple CEO Tim Cook’s ability to keep the hits coming fast and furious.

Perhaps most ironic? That part of Mayer’s appeal is her continued repetition of Yahoo’s mobile aspirations, although the results in that key arena are still negligible and decidedly nascent. Apple, despite the stock fall-off, still handily dominates mobile money-making and on a massive scale, although increasingly competitive Google Android devices continue to gain ground.

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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