Ed’s Daily Notes for October 16th   Leave a comment

Bloomberg: Have Republicans Shut Down Their Brains?

Another great column from Megan McArdle, but this one has the quote of the day:

…an ADHD-afflicted day trader with a cocaine habit and six months to live has considerably better long-term planning skills than our current Congress.

Amen to that!

Seriously though, while I support what the Republicans are trying to do, this isn’t the time to do it. It is now time for them to cut their losses and move on.

Fox News: Users hate Yahoo’s ‘gorgeous’ new look, call it ‘Gmail knock-off’

One of my readers mentioned this not long ago:

If they wanted Gmail, they would have gone to Google.

Yahooligans are yodeling in rage over the broken features and unfamiliar interface that came with a significant new redesign to the Yahoo email service — a look that many are dismissing as Gmail knockoff.

Yahoo Mail’s estimated 275 million users were angered to discover many of the service’s most useful features were gone — such as the “print” button and the ability to sort emails by sender — when the new look debuted Oct. 8. Flash forward a week and the votes are in: Users call the makeover a total disaster.

My guess is there is a programming reason for the redesign, since making a less user friendly experience is out of character for Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. Perhaps the redesign is more mobile friendly? Just guessing.

In other Yahoo news…

Bloomberg: Yahoo’s Forecast Trails Estimates as Google Takes Market Share

Yahoo! Inc.’s (YHOO) gains from its stake in China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. aren’t enough to mask the slumping advertising business as Google Inc. (GOOG) and Facebook Inc. take market share.

Yahoo forecast fourth-quarter sales, excluding revenue passed to partner sites, of $1.18 billion to $1.22 billion in a presentation yesterday. Analysts on average had been expecting revenue of $1.25 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Advertisers are flocking to Google and Facebook instead of Yahoo, thwarting Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer’s efforts to turn the Web portal around. The company is at least benefiting from its stake of about 24 percent in Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce company, and said yesterday that it reduced the maximum number of shares it is required to sell in Alibaba’s initial public offering by 20 percent to 208 million.

“The overall story around the stock really continues to be Alibaba,” said Brian Nowak, an analyst with Susquehanna Financial Group, who has the equivalent of a hold rating and doesn’t own the shares. “The core business still faces some challenges that need to be addressed.”

At this point, I still consider Yahoo as a “buy”, mainly because of this:

Mayer, who took the helm of the largest U.S. Web portal in July 2012, is investing in product improvements to woo more users and marketers amid increased competition. Last month, Mayer said the company surpassed 800 million active monthly users, an increase of about 20 percent since she arrived at Yahoo from Google.

Since last year the company has released new versions of Flickr, as well as its news and sports sites. During the call with analysts, Mayer said mobile adoption is a key metric for the company as more users move to wireless devices. Yahoo’s mobile users climbed to more than 390 million from 340 million about three months earlier.

This is a “build it, and they will come” situation. Get the traffic, and the advertising dollars will follow. They are starting to get the traffic, but it is still early. On the bright side, they still have Alibaba, which will help Yahoo’s stock until the core business turns around.

On a side note, Alibaba’s IPO looks intriguing. It is one of the rare overpriced IPO’s that might be worth buying early. I will keep my eye on it.

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Posted October 16, 2013 by edmcgon in News, Politics, Stocks

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