Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) has been making headlines in 2011, but for all the wrong reasons. The biggest news, of course, came when Carol Bartz was unceremoniously fired — sparking a flurry of buyout speculation and prolonged snickers about the once-dominant media company’s fall from grace.
Some said in September that Yahoo could turn itself around under new leadership. And while the stock did leap about 50% from its August lows to a peak of almost $17 in October, the company’s earnings and revenue continue their slow backslide.
True, Yahoo isn’t like other companies on this list because it is profitable and likely could survive another decade on its own. But like fellow online media disaster AOL (NYSE:AOL), just because you’re dying a slow death doesn’t mean you can say you’re surviving. The death of Yahoo isn’t a question of “if” so much as “when.”
Yahoo has given up altogether on online search, plugging in the Bing algorithm from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to run its search functionality. Its numbers are deteriorating rapidly. It is begging for a buyout — hopefully from a private company, to avoid those pesky shareholders.
It all adds up to YHOO stock being snapped up on the cheap and taken private in 2012 — or perhaps broken up and sold for parts. It’s not bankruptcy, but expect Yahoo to disappear next year all the same.