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Yahoo’s Q4 Numbers: There’s Good News & Bad News



As the headline suggest, Yahoo’s fourth quarter earnings report was a mixed bag of news for investors.

What do you want first, the good news or bad news?

You’re a "give me the bad news first" kinda guy? I like that about you! :-)

OK, so the bad news is that Yahoo had its first money-losing quarter since the Q1 of 2002 and its first quarterly revenue decline since Q4 of 2001. Ouch!

Now for the good news. The numbers weren’t quite as bad as Wall Street was expecting. In fact, while analysts were projecting 13 cents a share, Yahoo delivered that plus an extra 4 cents–that’s 17 cents in case your fingers can’t keep up.

So, what does newly minted CEO Carol Bartz have in store for Yahoo? Well, while selling to Microsoft is not out of the question, it’s not a foregone conclusion either:

Did I come to Yahoo to sell the company? No. . . . Am I planning on immediately selling the search business? I did not come here with preconceived notions. It is very easy from the outside to have preconceived notions of what Yahoo should do. Now as an insider and CEO it is my job and responsibility to do what is best for customers, shareholders, and employees.

And, you’ve got to love this defiant quote:

This is not a company that needs to be pulled apart for the chickens.

That’s the spirit!

Oh, almost forgot, here are the Q4 numbers:

  • Revenues were $1,806 million for the fourth quarter of 2008, a 1 percent decrease compared to $1,832 million for the same period of 2007.
  • Operating loss for the fourth quarter of 2008 was $278 million compared to operating income of $191 million for the same period of 2007.