Updated from 10:16 a.m. to include additional analysis in the second to last paragraph.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Last year is over and now it's put up or shut up time for Yahoo! (YHOO) and CEO Marissa Mayer. With the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo! set to report first-quarter earnings after the bell on Tuesday, investors will find out whether Mayer has much to squawk about or not.
Yahoo! and Mayer had a largely positive 2013 as investors realized the company's stake in Alibaba, the Chinese Internet giant, as well as Yahoo! Japan, helping send shares higher by 107.4% during 2013, far outpacing the Nasdaq. During the year, Mayer seemingly made acquisitions almost daily (exaggeration, but you get the point), buying companies such as Summly, Jybe, and a slew of other acqui-hires. The biggest acquisition in 2013 was the $1.1 billion purchase of Tumblr, as Mayer tries to boost core Yahoo! revenue, take the focus off of Alibaba and Yahoo! Japan, and shift it back to Sunnyvale.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters are looking for Yahoo! to earn 37 cents a share on $1.08 billion in revenue for the first quarter. Analysts surveyed by Estimize are looking for Yahoo! to earn 41 cents a share on almost $1.09 billion in revenue.This year hasn't been as kind to Yahoo! and Mayer, with shares falling 17.3% year-to-date in 2014, compared to a 3.7% decline in the Nasdaq. Following the company's fourth-quarter earnings call in January, Mayer noted 2014 will start to see some acceleration in revenue, but towards the back half and only modestly. "In 2014 we will continue our efforts around people, products and traffic while concentrating our efforts on revenue," Mayer said, noting that she expects the business "to exhibit stable momentum with modest acceleration in the second half of the year."
Though many of Yahoo!'s acquisitions have been focused on mobile, the company has little in the way of revenue to show for it. Mayer noted on the call that mobile revenue is still "not material," though it did nearly double year over year. Perhaps a hint that 2014 may be a year to buy revenue growth, Mayer said 2014 could see some revenue accretive acquisitions if they make sense. This comes despite spending $1.1 billion on Tumblr in 2013. While revenue growth may be stagnant, Yahoo! is making headways in turning over its users to its various mobile products. Yahoo! now has over 800 million monthly active users (MAUs), with over 400 million of them using the company's products, including Yahoo! Sports, Finance and Flickr on mobile devices. With new additions to Yahoo!'s media team including stalwarts such as Katie Couric, David Pogue and others, users are increasingly turning to Yahoo! for content, but that still hasn't shown up on the company's top line. Yahoo! appears to be trying to work on revenue accretive deals to combat Google's (GOOG) prowess in search. In March, Yahoo! finally announced its deal with Yelp (YELP), bringing Yelp's reviews, business information and star ratings to Yahoo! Search to try and boost the company's search business. This was done to compete with Google's Knowledge Graph, which incorporates a variety of reviews, images, data, and other information about a particular search query. Much has been made about core Yahoo!, the company's display and search business, being worth little when looking at the company's market cap. Right now, Yahoo!'s market cap is just under $34 billion. Assuming a $150 billion market cap for Alibaba (Yahoo! owns 24%) and Yahoo! Japan being worth roughly $26 billion (Yahoo! owns 35% of Yahoo! Japan, which trades in Japan), core Yahoo! is worth less than nothing.
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