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1/17/2006
  Yahoo's numbers - what do they mean?
Short answer: Yahoo is a cash-generating monster and a long term winner.

Shorter (term) answer: not good enough.

From CBS News' nice wrap-up of the Yahoo Q4 earnings:

Revenue for the quarter totaled $1.5 billion, a 39 percent increase from $1.08 billion in the comparable 2004 period.

After subtracting the advertising commissions that Yahoo paid to other Web sites, the company's fourth-quarter revenue stood at $1.07 billion, in line with analyst estimates

Yahoo has 429 million unique users, more than 200 million active users and 12.6 million unique paid relationships with users who subscribe to online music and other services, Chief Executive Terry Semel said in a teleconference with analysts. "This year we are poised to surpass 15 million paying relationships"

And this honest admission from Terry Semel:

"Frankly, Google has done a better job than us," Yahoo Chairman Terry Semel acknowledged during a Tuesday interview.

Maybe if Yahoo execs spent less time listening to Hollywood producers pitch online reality shows, and more time kicking the underachievers at Overture in the pants...

Semel has been promising to introduce improved advertising algorithms later this year, a pledge he reiterated Tuesday. But he stressed it will be a gradual process that's unlikely to have a significant impact on Yahoo's earnings until 2007.

So Overture is targeting 2007 to get its ad system up-to-par with Google! What have they been doing for the last 18 months!? Terry should send Kevin Sites into that Hot Zone and find out!

And my prediction about Google's dominance being enhanced by the splintering of MSN inventory away from Yahoo Search is spelled out in financial terms here:

In 2006, Yahoo expects to lose about $120 million in ad revenue from affiliates, mostly due to Microsoft's MSN planned move to its own ad network in June, Decker said. MSN's revenue contribution is expected to drop from $75 million to $25 million for the first half of 2006

In other news, Lloyd Braun is still at Yahoo...

 


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