1. Searching for a ClueSomething is definitely bugging Yahoo! ( YHOO) investors. Shares of the Sunnyvale, Calif., Internet giant plunged 22% Wednesday on 10 times average daily volume after execs botched the second-quarter earnings call. Wednesday's free fall put the stock down 36% for the year. Yahoo! is trying to soup up its search engine in hopes of closing the gap with Google ( GOOG). This spring, Yahoo! set plans for an ambitious upgrade. But on Tuesday, the timeline on what the company calls Project Panama was unceremoniously pushed back. "We think it is prudent to add some extra time to our original estimates for the commercial launch," CEO Terry Semel said on Tuesday's call, according to a transcript posted on
2. Delusions of GrandeurNortel ( NT) brings us another profile in courage this week. The money-losing Toronto telephone-equipment supplier unveiled a grandiose strategic alliance with Microsoft ( MSFT). The pact aims to "break down today's device- and network-centric silos of communication," such as email and phones. The companies say the
3. Broadcom's Broad BrushBroadcom ( BRCM) is putting a happy face on its accounting problems. The Irvine, Calif., communications chipmaker conceded last Friday that it erred in
4. Openwave's WashoutHow quickly the momentum has ebbed at Openwave ( OPWV). Shares in the Redwood City, Calif., communications-software shop have plummeted 71% in three months. Wall Street has been wondering whether Openwave is fit enough to take on big rivals like Ericsson ( ERICY) -- concerns that weren't eased by a debacle Wednesday. That afternoon, just as tech investors were being deluged with earnings reports from Apple ( AAPL), eBay ( EBAY), Intel ( INTC) and Motorola ( MOT), Openwave issued a press release innocently headlined, "Openwave Announces Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2006 Conference Call." It's the kind of release that might easily get lost in the shuffle on a busy afternoon. But beyond noting the timing of the Aug. 3 call, Openwave's statement also notes the postponement of annual analyst day -- and warns of soft first-quarter revenue. "The company is currently completing its annual operating plan for fiscal 2007 and will present key aspects of the plan at the rescheduled analyst day," Openwave says. It then adds tersely, "Openwave expects fiscal Q1 2007 revenues will be flat to modestly below the prior quarter." The warning, which knocked 14% off Openwave stock Thursday, came just two weeks after Openwave trimmed fourth-quarter guidance. "While the results for the quarter are disappointing, overall the company has delivered a solid financial year," CEO David Peterschmidt said July 6. "We continue to see customer momentum worldwide and are confident in our strategy as we enter fiscal 2007." We're guessing Openwave is less confident in that strategy now. Dumb-o-Meter score: 82. We'll make a note to check back in another two weeks.