Yahoo! is not growing, nor is it likely to. For its most recent quarter, Yahoo! announced GAAP earnings of $30 million, or 29 cents per share, on revenue of $1.09 billion, excluding traffic acquisition costs.
That was considered a positive surprise. The stock rose 8% overnight, mainly because Alibaba, the company of which Yahoo! still owns 24%, had $3.06 billion in revenue, a jump of 66%.
Once Alibaba goes public, later this year, those who want to bet on it will have Ailbaba's stock to play with. We have reached peak Yahoo!, in other words, and it's time to sell.
That is also true, by the way, if you're a member of Yahoo!'s board. It is time for you to find a buyer.
CEO Marissa Mayer has now spent 17 months huffing, puffing and buying smaller companies. She has turned over the staff. She has had her chance to produce growth. And today's Yahoo! is little changed from the company she joined.
Yahoo! is an Internet media company, accent on media. Yahoo! is news, weather and sports -- not search. And Yahoo! doesn't have the financial heft to compete in technology against heavyweights Facebook (FB - Get Report), Google (GOOG) and Amazon (AMZN). There, Yahoo! is a minnow among sharks. If they want something Yahoo! wants, Yahoo! will be outbid.
But who would buy Yahoo!?
Alibaba is the most obvious buyer, but Yahoo!'s big presence in media may have immunized it from that takeover. The idea of a Chinese company buying a U.S. media outfit, even an Internet media outfit, would likely prove more trouble than it was worth.