Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Yahoo Earnings? What Yahoo Earnings?

Tomorrow! Will they be good or bad? Are you on the edge of your seat?

Don’t be.


Looking into my crystal ball–which is wholly informed by the up-your-nose- with-a-rubber-hose Welcome Back, Kotterisms that have been coming out of Yahoo (YHOO) and aimed toward Microsoft (MSFT) of late in its takeover battle–I am guessing the results have to be pretty good, as well as the guidance going forward.

Everything from the cheekiness of the Google (GOOG) online ad outsourcing deal to the further opening up of its platform to yet another sassy no-thanks letter to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer can only bring one to a single conclusion: Yahoo will–by performance or by selling everything not nailed down at Sunnyvale HQ–turn in a solid, and even impressive, first quarter.

This is especially likely after Google’s better-than-expected performance last week, which beat the sky-is-falling predictions for the market leader. Yahoo’s business, however weaker, follows along the very same tracks.

Thus, expect sunshine and daisies tomorrow at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT.

Unless, of course, the results are weak and Yahoo execs and its board have simply lost their minds.

Well, crazy is relative, of course, but for the company to blow its quarter at this point would be certifiable.

If its results were weak, in fact, I would imagine Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang would have been buying up a massive amount of carbon credits to pay for his many flights back and forth to Redmond, Wash., by now to negotiate a decent deal for Yahoo.

So far, though, he has played it carbon neutral, using only oddly punctuated emails to staff to signal intent, all of which have centered on a free and independent Yahoo.

Well, that seems unlikely too, so it is pretty much about time–I would say a Tuesday night PT call would work out for Yang–for Ballmer to lob in another call upping the price to $34 to $35 and be done with it.

The software giant, which set a deadline of this coming Saturday for Yahoo to play or do battle, can make every argument in the book as to why its bid should not hinge on one quarter. (Microsoft reports its own quarterly results this week too.)

But after making what now feels like a very boneheaded move of threatening to drop the price in his sure-to-be-infamous Saturday tantrum letter, which pissed off mostly important large shareholders, Ballmer has to either fight, take flight or, most likely, pay up.

He could still fight, but that seems much riskier if Yahoo performs. As to flight, it would be pretty embarrassing and also wrong for Microsoft’s future online aims and leave Yahoo closer than ever to its arch-enemy Google.

Thus, more money for Yahoo. Too bad for Ballmer, but he kind of deserves it.


Yahoo, which until recently, has not been the savviest poker player in this game, might be close to winning the better deal for itself–probably its best option–by doing nothing more than relying on the legendary hotheadedness of the Microsoft leader.

And that, as it has turned out, is probably the best prediction anyone can bet on.