You could almost see Marissa Mayer saying, “I’m not quite ready for my closeup Mr. DeMille,” on the one year anniversary of her stewardship of the internet portal. The “almost” is the result of the bizarre staging of Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)’s Q2 earnings report that featured Ms. Mayer on the left of the screen, with CFO Ken Goldman to her right on the set of a, well at least it looked like, a Midwestern CBS affiliate’s morning news desk. To further embellish this surreal scene, the desk was even replete with an over-sized Yahoo coffee mug, and no one who saw this would have been surprised if Ken Goldman began reading the crop report, and Ms. Mayer interviewed an on-location features reporter outside of the local zoo’s new otter pavilion.
Marissa Mayer’s frenzied acquisitions still in question
It was bizarre, made more bizarre by the fact that Marissa Mayer chose to live-stream the earnings call that she certainly knew weren’t going to impress the majority of analysts and investors. Both groups can hardly fault the job that Ms. Mayer has done since taking over as the fourth Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) CEO in five years, but the first group is certainly still questioning her frenzied acquisitions, while the latter are enjoying a 35% rise in the company’s stock price owing to its 23% share in China’s Alibaba Group which may go public before years’ end.
Sales, excluding revenue passed to partner sites, will be $1.06 to $1.1 billion in the current quarter, Yahoo said on its website yesterday. Analysts were projecting revenue of $1.12 billion, the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Second-quarter sales fell 1 percent to $1.07 billion, also missing analysts’ $1.08 billion prediction.
Marissa Mayer remained after announcing Yahoo sales
Despite these lackluster number’s Marissa Mayer remained upbeat after announcing that Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)’s sales of display ads decreased 12 percent to $472 million in the second quarter.
“Hire and retain a great team; build inspiring products that will attract users and increased traffic; that traffic will increase advertiser interest and ultimately translate to revenue,” Mayer said on yesterday’s call, which was broadcast via video on the Web. “People, then products, then traffic, then revenue.”
Perhaps she felt she needed to address 17 acquisitions when she said, “I’m encouraged by Yahoo!’s performance in the second quarter. Our business saw continued stability, and we launched more products than ever before, introducing a significant new product almost every week.” S
She then shifted to mobile saying. “From the new Yahoo! News, the new Yahoo! Sports app, the redesigned Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) search, the new Flickr, the new Yahoo! Mail for tablet, the Yahoo! Weather app, our new Yahoo! app with Summly – this quarter drove tremendous improvements in our product line and our users responded with increased usage and engagement.”
And this is Marissa Mayer reporting live. (Again, from a news desk in Deerfield, Illinois?)