Yahoo Earnings Preview: Crappy (YHOO)

Yahoo reports after the bell.  Barring an absolute disaster, the results are irrelevant. We’d also be shocked if new CEO Carol Bartz delivered a detailed turnaround plan.

What we will be looking for on the call is the sense that Yahoo is now in the hands of a leader who isn’t afraid to break eggs, raise hackles, and kick arse.  What Yahoo needs more than anything is fire in the belly.  And our hope is that the already straight-talking Carol will provide it.

As for the crappy results, here are the consensus expectations:

Key Stats

  • Net Revenue: $1.37B
  • EBITDA: $522MM in EBITDA,
  • GAAP EPS: $0.12

And here’s Citi analyst Mark Mahaney’s excellent preview:

We Anticipate An In-Line & Lower Q4 — We believe Street Q4 estimates arereasonable (and we believe GOOG results provided a modestly positive read- thru), but we believe Street expectations for approx double digit EBITDA growth for ’09 could be aggressive, given material top-line uncertainty and ongoing investment needs. We would also expect initial ’09 guidance/commentary by a brand new CEO seeking “freakin’ breathing room” to be highly cautious.

[We would actually be surprised if Carol gave guidance.  We think there’s a good chance she discontinues this practice, as most companies should.]

Our YHOO fundamentals call for Q4 is negative — Due to very tough Macro conditions, especially impacting the company’s Display advertising segment, signs of market share losses in its Search and Display segments, uneven execution, and a tough comp in YHOO’s Fees segment, we see Yahoo!’s
fundamentals deteriorating in Q4, with 1) Y/Y revenue growth flat-to-down for the first time ever; 2) EBITDA margins down about 90 bps Y/Y; and 3) EBITDA falling approximately 2% Y/Y.

Mark’s “Cheat Sheets”:

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