Yahoo! Gone in 12 Months?

My friend Paul Kedrosky has some choice quotes in today’s New York Times on the Yahoo management shake-up:

"Some analysts maintain that the shake-up may be only a prelude to a
more substantial corporate overhaul, which could include a merger or a

This had to happen or things would have gotten nasty in a hurry,
with people taking positions and pushing for change,
" said Paul
Kedrosky, executive director of the William J. von Liebig Center for
Entrepreneurism and Technology Advancement at the University of California, San Diego. "I’m not convinced it’s enough, but it had to happen."

You can always tell when an interviewee is media savvy by how they help the reporter set up the story: By giving them a great intro, or a good data point for the middle, or a good ending. Paul did the set up with the quote above, and clinched the ending with the following line:

Mr. Kedrosky added, "My bet: Yahoo won’t be an independent company in 12 months."

Assuming Paul is correct about this — a big "if" — AND assuming the Yahoo takeout is at a premium — a big "and" — then speculators can gamble on both of those issues via Yahoo Leaps:

The January 2009s are trading:

$30 . . . .  $4.2450
. .  $3.2340
. . . .  $2.3250

The January 2010s are trading:

$30 . . . .  $5.65
. . . .  $3.50

Interesting concept for gamblers . . .


Yahoo’s Chief Resigns, and a Founder Takes Over
NYT, June 19, 2007

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. The Financial Philosopher commented on Jun 19

    Almost all financial bloggers share knowledge that may be created by their own original thought or (more often) from someone else’s mind. But they leave the reader saying, “So what is one to do about it?”

    It’s refreshing to see a blogger to intelligently communicate a particular issue AND provide alternative solutions. That’s what I call “The Big Picture!”

    Knowledge is NOT wisdom… Thanks, Barry, for sharing the wisdom as well as the knowledge…

  2. shawn commented on Jun 19

    Yahoo is going down. I have been actively using it for the last 6 months, and it just get terrible. Broken web pages every day, boring stupid old charts, etc.

    If it’s not for the active message boards, I probably would not have visited Yahoo finance at all.

    I was a web developer and still working deep in IT tech, and I think Yahoo is definitely doom with the current quality of service.

    You Heard it her FIRST.

  3. Bob A commented on Jun 19

    Yahoo has had some glitches with recent upgrades but the end result is better. It’s still my home page because I can put a lot of varied news sources on the page. Google gets enough of my business with search. Msft with software. Aapl get’s none because I refuse to pay double for anything. If someone does buy Yahoo let’s hope his name isn’t Rupert because that would definitely cause me to dump it.

  4. Barry Ritholtz commented on Jun 19

    I still use it for my home page — but I do all my searches on Google, via Desktop Google and Google toolbar

  5. Tom B commented on Jun 19

    “Aapl get’s none because I refuse to pay double for anything.”

    Care to support that? As I see it, Apple gives me a whole lot more for the money than Windows. The machines are cost competitive and 1) more reliable 2) more stable 3) don’t require anti-virus software 4) less annoying and 5) can boot Windows at native speed if required.

    re: Yahoo. They are mostly “coasting” since they are pretty much everybody’s home page. They kind of suck, but if they go down, I hope they don’t wreck Flickr in the process.

  6. Bob A commented on Jun 19

    Most Apple users are willing to pay more because they perceive the software as being better or they like they styling. I don’t like the software and couldn’t care less about the shiny silver case … I’m happy running Windows software, in fact I find Apple software annoying, and if you’re just comparing computing performance PC’s are half what Apples are.

  7. toon commented on Jun 19

    Do not dream big and gamble.
    Try make small but sure money.
    Stop day dreaming

  8. philip commented on Jun 20

    Yahoo is my homepage also. Who would buy it? I don’t see much value. Actually, on a homepage you get so used to the locations of the banners that I certainly don’t even notice the ads let alone read them. They should vary the ad location to defeat eyes like mine.

    I agree with Apple sentiment: overpriced, you are paying for trendy (hardware, not the stock). If you aren’t a gomer, stick with Windows, or if you are tech savvy go with Linux.

  9. muckdog commented on Jun 20

    I still use Yahoo as my home page. But I’m reading less and less content from Yahoo as I’ve been using Google Reader for RSS feeds from fine sites like this one.

    I can see where I transition off of the Yahoo home page down the road. Maybe that sounded crazy a few years ago. Not so much now.

    I mostly use the Google search engine, and of course blogger and the reader. I can see them creeping into more and more things that I do on the web, though. Their finance and news sites are getting better. Easier to search for news articles of the day on inflation or taxes… Etc.

  10. muckdog commented on Jun 20

    And a second thought… If somebody buys Yahoo, isn’t that like somebody buying AOL after their day in the sun was over?

  11. EricP commented on Jun 20

    Selling the 35 calendar for $1.175 is money in the bank on 12 month deal. Especially if MSFT uses some of that $40B in cash for a tender.

  12. me commented on Jun 20

    “and if you’re just comparing computing performance PC’s are half what Apples are.”

    Not really. Adobe apps on PC were blowing Macs away, that is why they switched to Intel so they could try to catch up.

    “don’t require anti-virus software”

    Does that include safari? Its easy to have no viruses when you have no market share.

  13. KP commented on Jun 20

    Yahoo has a loyal user base. All they need to do to survive is maintain the status quo.

    If they do get snatched up it will be by Mr Softee out of mindless fear of Google.

  14. Bob A commented on Jun 20

    Interesting question arises. A lot of people use Yahoo for homepage but Google for search.

    Why do they/we not use Yahoo search?

    Because the results are not better?

    I think not. For me it is the presentation.

    I just don’t like the way Yahoo search results look.

    Hear that Yahoo? Ugly search results mean people don’t use your search

  15. Phoenix Life Insurance commented on Jun 27

    One problem with Yahoo is you do a search and get so many meaningless results. That gets way too frustrating.

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