by Marc Bastow | October 22, 2013 9:55 am
Here’s what I love most about Yahoo (YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer: bold strokes.
OK, and the fact that the YHOO share price is up 70% since I bought it back in January.
In the course of the year she’s already helped engineer 19 company acquisitions — including the big haul, Tumblr, aimed at increasing and improving content, engineering skills and talent at YHOO. Along with the way she’s improved the company’s focus, and from all accounts she’s improved Yahoo’s attitude, too.
So it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that Yahoo announced the hiring of New York Times (NYT) technology columnist — and star — David Pogue, to head the company’s latest effort: consumer technology content.
Pogue, who is a best-selling author and a columnist at Scientific American, appeared every Thursday in the NYT for 20 years.
What’s he going to do at Yahoo? Pen those same columns, add video content, blog posts, and come up with who knows how many other ideas. We’ll all find out soon enough, as Pogue is expected to start churning out that YHOO content within a few weeks.
It’s another coup for Mayer and her management team, and comes at a very good time. YHOO released its third quarter earnings last week and, well, Yahoo still doesn’t have too much to crow about. The big news was that display and search revenues were down again, and despite taking over as the leader in unique visits from Google (GOOG) for a second straight month, ad revenues continue to lag.
What continues to power Yahoo and its stocks price are its investments in Asia, notably Alibaba and Yahoo Japan. Jeff Reeves recently pointed out that roughly $31 of Yahoo’s estimated $40 per share price target comes from those Asian properties, according to one analyst.
So yeah, Alibaba and Yahoo Japan are keeping the ship afloat for the time being. But that’s not a bad position to be in right now.
It’s called buying time, and what I like is how Mayer and Yahoo are actively working on fixing the product in the interim, not pissing away that precious time tinkering around the edges like, say, Microsoft (MSFT) did for the last 10 years while they sat on gazillions in cash.
This is another savvy move by an increasingly savvy company intent on trying to get it right while they have the time.
Will it all work out at YHOO? Beats the heck out of me, but I’m still in Yahoo stock, and plan on staying that way for quite a bit longer.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing he is long YHOO and MSFT.
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