How ridiculous is this Yahoo! (YHOO) situation that no matter what the company does, the media act as if it is in line?
I sat at my office, listening to the TV and watching the tape and trying to figure out how the press can determine instantaneously that this was an in-line quarter?
How can they do it? How can they pretend to analyze the situation like this? How can they be this glib?
We know Yahoo!
We know page-view expectations and gross-margin guidance and the benchmarks that firms are looking for, and we still can't make a snap judgment that it was "in line." The more we pulled it apart, the more we felt it was "better than expected."
My, what a sham this whole game has become. It astounds me that journalists can look at a printed number on a page, one number, before charges and revenues and page views, and pronounce it ho-hum. My, would I love to have that luxury in real life.
It is one thing to dismiss a candidate's chances running for office. Subjective judgments play a role, so does popular opinion. Instant analysis rules.
It is another thing to pronounce a company's quarter as a dud through instant analysis
when you can't possibly know anything yet.
Of course, we know that in the end business valuations will win out. But in the short-term journalists win out. Which is why, after that great Yahoo quarter -- and remember,
these guys would rather be wrong but not be conflicted than to be right but own shares
-- Yahoo! traded down dramatically after the report. It hit the 150s in a flash.
I know that I write from my positions. I am a commentator. But not owning stock does not give you a license to get it wrong. Yet that's what happened to Yahoo! after the close today.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Yahoo. His fund often buys and sells securities that are the subject of his columns, both before and after the columns are published, and the positions that his fund takes may change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column at