Yahoo! Rising From the Ashes but Stock Remains Cold
What makes it even worse is Yahoo!'s recent string of poor performance continues to bring to the forefront what an egregious mistake it made turning down a buyout offer from Microsoft four years ago at a price of $33 per share, or $47.5 billion. Today, the company has a market cap of just $18 billion while having never traded above $20 during that same span. Adding insult to injury is the fact that as all of this occurred Yahoo! has allowed Microsoft's Bing to leapfrog it in the realm of search.
So the question is, where was Yahoo!'s value going to come from? I think to some extent this was one of the primary reasons for its new partnership with CNBC. The company understands that in order for it to survive it needed to focus more on content as a media service company as opposed to having to compete with real technology powerhouses in areas where it knows it can't win.
Though this deal received some moderate applause, I don't see it as anything more than a flat handshake between two media entities. Investors have to remember that Yahoo! previously forged a similar deal with Walt Disney(DIS) . However, the benefits of that relationship have been hard to quantify, which leads me to think that this CNBC partnership may not be anything more than a way to increase exposure. However, if it doesn't lead to increased revenue, what's really the point? Who has not heard of Yahoo! by now?
The other way to look at this is, is the company finding out it is unable to stand on its own? Absent an acquisition, it is hard for me to see how the company will be anything more than what it currently is today. Will this be enough for its board and its shareholders?While the company deserves a considerable amount of credit for having survived the tech bubble in ways that once-dominant rivals Netscape and Lycos were unable to do, each time I think of Facebook's 900 million users worldwide, I think of how Yahoo! has missed another opportunity.
Working in its favor is the fact that Yahoo! is (yet) profitable, with a considerable amount of cash and some interesting and somewhat appealing assets. However, from an investment perspective I don't see how owning Yahoo! can be perceived as anything other than dead money until it can demonstrate that it can keep a CEO for longer than one year and can execute successfully within that same fiscal calendar.