Before Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer dug into the company's last financial quarter in the company's earnings webcast today, she said she wanted to "address misconceptions" and "substantial external noise" about the company. The misconceptions she had in mind appeared to relate to whether Yahoo's board is seriously working to consider bids to buy the company's core businesses, or is simply going through the motions to placate activist investors.
"Our board, our management team, and I have made the strategic alternatives process a top priority," Mayer said during the company's earnings webcast. She said that the project involves a call, or multiple calls, every day. "I personally believe that the right transaction could unlock tremendous synergies."
Once Mayer got to the specifics of the quarter, she said the company is on track to meet its goal of $1.8 billion in 2016 revenue from MAVeNs (mobile, video, native, and social) sources. And she quoted a bevy of specific accomplishments, such as monthly unique visits to Tumblr on mobile devices jumping by 35%. But Yahoo reported a loss for the quarter, as well as a decline in revenue. (Because Wall Street's revenue expectations for the quarter were pessimistic, the company managed to exceed them.)
Yahoo has been through a lot of pain: For instance, its workforce is 1,200 people smaller than it was last quarter. It's continuing to phase out unpromising product offerings and pursue money-making opportunities such as selling off real estate. Whether the company remains independent or gets sold, its future clearly involves being smaller and more focused. And the obvious corporate goal—getting emerging businesses to grow faster than legacy businesses such as banner ads are shrinking–remains unfulfilled. HM