Since Marissa Mayer took the CEO spot at Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) back in July, the shares have been sizzling, up by about 30%.
The company will report its fourth-quarter results after the market closes today, and for the most part, expectations are fairly muted. The Wall Street consensus is for earnings of 27 cents on revenues of $1.21 billion. This compares to earnings of 24 cents on revenues of $1.17 billion in the same period a year ago.
It’s more likely investors will want to get a sense of Mayer’s turnaround plan, which has been somewhat fuzzy. So, perhaps she’ll provide more detail on cost-cutting. The fact remains that Yahoo is a bloated organization and could benefit from streamlining.
What’s more, Yahoo should continue to gain from its stake in China’s Alibaba, which has been a nice source of cash. In fact, it looks like Alibaba will pull off an IPO in Hong Kong (a deal could happen in the summer).
Beyond that, Yahoo investors will be more interested in Mayer’s overall vision. For example, they’ll want to know how she plans to revive the search business, which is based on a partnership with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).
Given that Mayer helped build Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) search business, she should have some good ideas to find growth. Right?
Investors will also want to get a sense of Mayer’s ideas for mobile. Let’s face it, competitors like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) continue to move aggressively in this market, which will make it harder for Yahoo to play catch-up.
While the company has solid properties — like mail, sports, weather and finance — they could use a revamp. So far, Mayer’s main product release is Flickr. Unfortunately, it still greatly lags rivals like Instagram.
Now, even if she can find ways to bolster Yahoo’s product line, she’ll still have a problem: monetization. All in all, it’s still very tough to get revenues from mobile apps.
Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He is also the author of “How to Create the Next Facebook” and “High-Profit IPO Strategies: Finding Breakout IPOs for Investors and Traders.” Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.