Call it the myth of Yahoo! ( YHOO).Every three months, the market grows excited about Yahoo!'s earnings (this quarter's earnings are slated for release Tuesday). Either the company is riding the bull market in search-related advertising, or it's getting hit by the backlash in overvalued search stocks. Either way, the underlying story is that, aside from Google ( GOOG), there is no major Internet stock with greater long-term growth prospects than Yahoo!. In the business world, there's a lot of truth to this. Yahoo! has great managers at its helm. It hasn't rolled out a lot of duds in the past few years, and has focused on areas that have revenue growing by 47% a year. The biggest advertisers trust it, as do the 400 million users who visit its site each month. The problem is, none of this has been reflected in Yahoo!'s stock in any significant way. During the past two years, shares of Yahoo! have basically gone sideways. Except for a brief dip below $26 in August 2004 and a brief blip above $43 in January of this year, it has pretty much traded in the $30's. Over the past year, the average adjusted closing price of the stock was $34. And over the past two years, the adjusted closing price of the stock was -- that's right -- $34. Which means that if, two years ago, you had decided to buy Yahoo! every day it traded below $34 and to short it every day it traded above $34, you would certainly have made out better than those who bought and held the stock for two years -- and almost certainly better than those who tried to play the earnings game with the stock. Sure, it's easy to strategize in hindsight. And sure, lots of stocks trade within ranges for long periods of time. But most range-bound stocks don't have revenue growing nearly 50% a year, and few have held on to reputations as one of the few large-cap growth stocks in town.