With all the buzz surrounding its upcoming Alibaba IPO windfall, it would have been easy for Yahoo (YHOO) fans and followers to forget that the Yahoo earnings report for the second quarter is due on Tuesday. And they’d be wise to keep close tabs on the announcement. The company’s performance in the second quarter is apt to be a microcosm of how well-managed Yahoo is going to be once it banks an estimated $26 billion from the exit of its Alibaba position.
As of the latest estimates, analysts expect the company to earn 38 cents per share of Yahoo stock on $1.08 billion in revenue. That’s stronger than the year-ago figures of 35 cents and $1.07 billion, respectively. Just for the record, however, Yahoo has topped earnings estimates in its past nine quarters, and has a long-term track record of per-share earnings growth that’s just as impressive.
While the Yahoo earnings news is going to take center stage on Tuesday, current and prospective Yahoo stock holders may be looking to glean any perspective they can on future acquisitions.
The second quarter of 2014 was CEO Marissa Mayer’s eighth quarter at the helm of Yahoo, and although she’s left behind a legacy of earnings growth per share of Yahoo stock, a stock buyback program gets most of the credit for that growth. Total revenue as well as total income have largely dwindled since 2008.
Acquisitions were billed as Mayer’s plan to put revenue growth back on track, but so far, shareholders haven’t seen Yahoo bear any new fruit by adding new ventures to the mix. Last year’s top line of $4.68 billion was weaker than 2012’s $4.99 billion, but neither compares to 2010’s revenue of $6.32 billion.
However, it’s possible Yahoo turned the proverbial corner in the first quarter of this year. The company managed to top revenue estimates for the first time in a long time in Q1, generating $1.09 billion on sales versus $1.07 billion for the first quarter of 2013. While one quarter does not make or break a trend, all long-term trends begin with that first quarter of unexpected success.
Still, even another solid quarter may not guarantee the company is back in the groove investors expect. Indeed, many well-qualified observers believe that, under Mayer, Yahoo stock is major liability without its Alibaba stake.
Of course, Yahoo does have a stake in Alibaba, and once it sells it for an estimated $26 billion sometime in August, Yahoo is going to be flush with cash that it can use to make some more significant (read “fiscally productive”) purchases. For perspective, Yahoo only had $2.9 billion in its coffers at the end of the first quarter. A extra few billion bucks in the bank could mean better acquisitions.
While it’s unlikely Mayer will name specific targets in the conference call, the Yahoo earnings call may shed some light on how much the company aims to spend on deals, and what it expects in return. Mayer should add some details to the recent purchase of RayV, however.
One thing’s for sure no matter what — the Yahoo earnings report on Tuesday needs to be an encouraging one. Current shareholders are getting restless, as few of the many recent acquisitions have paid off.
Yahoo stock is currently trading around $35.43. The latest Yahoo stock quote is always available by visiting the InvestorPlace YHOO stock quote and research page here.
As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.