Posted by: Rob Hof on July 21, 2009
Yahoo will report its second-quarter earnings today, and few investors are looking for much cheer in the results. Yahoo is expected to report a profit before special charges of 8 cents a share on net revenues of $1.14 billion before payments to Web site partners, down from a 10-cent profit on $1.35 billion in sales a year ago.
For now, here’s what investors and analysts will be looking for:
* Any sign of an ad turnaround, or at least a bottom. But they don’t expect Yahoo to lead the way, both because Google’s second-quarter sales growth was an anemic 3% and because display is expected to take even longer than search ads to bounce back.
* Signs that CEO Carol Bartz’s layoffs, shutdowns of some services, and other cost-cutting and reorganizing are paying off on the bottom line. If there’s going to be any upside surprise, this is about the only place it could appear.
* Any word on a Microsoft deal, which various reports indicate is back on the table. But unless the deal’s done already, Yahoo won’t be saying anything about this. Besides, there have been many false starts in recent months.