Yahoo to throw the dice with its upcoming earnings report

Yahoo plans to decide about its future after reporting fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 2, Reuters reported, citing sources.

Speculation about a possible sale of its core Internet assets will likely intensify in the coming week leading up to the earnings report and conference call.

Yahoo will decide what to do next, including possibly selling the firm, depending on shareholder reaction to its earnings and its strategic plan, Reuters said.

The firm’s shares were trading Friday at $29.57. It traded close to $50 last March.

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Yahoo said late last year that it would ditch plans to spin off its stake in Alibaba and instead spin off its Internet business. That set off speculation about possible buyers, as I wrote about then.

It was unclear then whether Yahoo would pursue a strategy of trying to turnaround the company itself or seek a buyer. In the meantime, it has suffered a talent drain, the New York Times said.

Morale has sunk so low that employees refer to Marissa Mayer, the firm’s CEO, as “Evita,” after the musical of Eva Peron, the former first lady of Argentina.

Over the past month, investors have agitated for quicker change.

Starboard Value, an activist shareholder, has pressed for the company to quickly sell its core Internet business and change its management team. Other investors have called on Yahoo to do the same.

If it won’t, Starboard has threatened a board room fight. The entire board is up for re-election this summer with nominations for the slate of board members due at the end of February.

SpringOwl, another investor, has called for Mayer to resign but says it wants the company to try its own turnaround, USA Today reported.

Yahoo has rebuffed potential suitors, Reuters said, after the company invited bidders to state how much they would pay for the Internet business.

Above: Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s CEO. (AP Photo/NBC, Peter Kramer, file)


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