Yahoo!: How the Titan Has Tumbled - TheStreet

This column was originally published on RealMoney on Feb. 14 at 1:12 p.m. EST. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers. For more information about subscribing to RealMoney, please click here.

Why don't I own

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

? This onetime titan has been reduced to a bumbling wannabe.

The growth rates at Yahoo!, which obviously collapsed after the bubble popped in 2000 but accelerated again in 2003, have slowed dramatically in that second-derivative growth-of-the-growth kind of way. While the same can be said of even the mighty

Google

(GOOG) - Get Report

, Yahoo! is the only one of the two to disappoint the Street repeatedly with warnings, lowered guidance and missed revenue opportunities.

Yahoo!'s much-ballyhooed new ad platform, Panama, is finally at hand, and that might very well help the company catch up to where Google was a year or two ago with its own platform. Heck, even the slumbering giant

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

has an ad network that's competitive with Yahoo!.

Anyway, there's nary an initiative at Yahoo! to get excited about. Remember a few weeks ago, when Yahoo! successfully got some media outlets to believe that its new mobile initiative was meaningful? The same can be said of today's hype around Yahoo! now offering IM services within its email platform. As a savvy reader wrote to me this morning, who cares?

That's the point about Yahoo!. It is a hybrid wannabe of both Hollywood and the digital age, and it's not good at being either. The Internet has passed Yahoo! by, with its old-world, lock-in strategies like prohibiting users from forwarding their Yahoo! emails to another account unless they fork over $20 a year.

Yahoo! is doing next to nothing right. I won't bet against the continual rising tide of Internet distribution, and that means I won't bet against Yahoo! by shorting its stock. But I have no interest in buying it, either.

At the time of publication, the firm in which Willard is a partner was net long Google and Microsoft, although positions can change at any time and without notice.

Cody Willard is the manager of CL Willard Capital Management, LLC. He is a regular guest on

Fox News

,

CNBC

and other networks, and he writes a monthly column for the

Financial Times

. He is also an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University and the author of

TheCodyReport.net

, a monthly stock market newsletter. Willard appreciates your feedback --

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