This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Marissa Mayer's a Badass

Stocks in this article: YHOO AAPL GOOG AMZN

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- If you seek the quantitative nuts and bolts from Yahoo!'s (YHOO) Q1 2014 earnings report, TheStreet's technology editor Chris Ciaccia has them right here.

If you want what will go down as the definitive qualitative take, read on ...

Lots of people hate Yahoo! Simple as that. And, among the haters, quite a few hate Yahoo! because they, for some reason, can't stand Marissa Mayer.

For example, you don't even have to read between the lines of a Kara Swisher piece on Yahoo. The hate comes across loud and clear. It's almost as if -- and maybe it is as if -- people such as Swisher want to see Mayer fail. Life's too short to speculate on the motivation for such vitriol. It is, sadly, what it is.

These same people chide Yahoo!'s growth as "tepid." But a focus on metrics such as year-over-year revenue growth shows a wholesale misunderstanding of what Mayer's in the early stages of building.

Something similar happens with Apple (AAPL) analysis. We lament an apparent lack of innovation from Tim Cook, wondering why it took so long to do a large screen iPhone (assuming we get that in this year's Android-killing iPhone 6). But we're not studying the company from the proper perspective. We prescribe the misguided fruits of our impatience and lack of vision on Apple and Yahoo! as opposed to considering what the strategic roadmap might actually be inside the building.

If Marissa Mayer walked into Yahoo! with the goal of immediately increasing search- and ad-related revenue, I would have remained bearish on her prospects. (I was a fan for the first year of her tenure, turned temporarily sour, but have since reassumed bullishness after learning more about Mayer's video strategy).

Mayer's doing exactly what she should be doing -- keeping things stable on the top and bottom lines with a welcome assist from Yahoo!'s ownership stake in still surging and soon-to-be public Alibaba. Alibaba and Yahoo!'s subsequent cash pile gives Mayer the type of wiggle room Apple, Google (GOOG) and (AMZN) enjoy.

Different reasons, but similar dynamics.

Apple doesn't need to rush out the next big thing. Google can experiment in dozens of exciting areas. And Amazon can build out the stickiest ecosystem in retail without concern for profits. Established core businesses at the aforementioned afford them these luxuries. Yahoo! operates from a similar position of strength even if it's not the result of a decade's worth of domination.

For Mayer to come in and obsessively focus on present-day metrics at Yahoo! would set her up for the same failure as her many recent predecessors. She would not be taking full advantage of the gift she was given when she took the job -- time, largely as a result of Alibaba. She has the opportunity to build something that will sustain. Investors should be happy (as they obviously are given how well Yahoo! stock has performed since Mayer took over). They see the long-term potential she's seizing, therefore stagnant growth today means very little.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs