Yahoo revealed its financial report card for the fourth quarter and entire 2006 after the close of the markets, and the grade was a solid B. Those are the kind of grades that really scar students for a long time – they can’t really figure out that they are better than average or just not good.
They essentially beat expectations (which keep changing like hemlines in Paris), but gave a dismal guidance for 2007. The entire report is a bit of a head scratcher. Despite all the coverage including live blogging of the conference call, it is not clear if Yahooligans should be reaching for a bottle of bubbly or the Ole’ Tennessee.
Paul Kedrosky, who should really get a faster server, says, “The bulls will be elated, and the bears … distressed.”
Rob Hof says, “After a year of trying to gain lost ground on the likes of Google and MySpace, Yahoo’s still not out of the woods.” He also points out investors are happy that Panama is early, and investors are thrilled.
There were some points in the press release that raised an eyebrow – a sharp decline in cash flow and a plunge in net income, not just for the 4Q 2006, but also for the entire 2006 when compared to 4Q 2005 and fiscal 2005. Cash flow is a pretty important and a more real fiscal metric when evaluating the health of a company, and such sharp declines coupled with forecast of slowing growth, merits a second look. I hope to chat with Wall Street types tomorrow, and get some diverse opinions on this issue.
Yahoo spent $85 million to buy start-ups
Regardless, the most interesting tidbit was buried in the numbers section of Yahoo’s earnings report is just a juicy little nugget: in the fourth quarter of 2006, Yahoo spent $81 million in cash and issues $3.26 million worth of stock in “connection with acquisitions.”
We know that they bought Kenet Works, Bix and Wretch in the fourth quarter. The deal to buy Wretch, an online photo sharing and web logging company based in Taiwan was pegged at $22 million by the local media. Kenet deal was rumored to be approximately $22 million. So unless there was another deal or two we don’t know about, looks like Bix got roughly $41 million.
Flickr vs Getty Images, Corbis
And lastly, please read this post by Thomas Hawk. He channels Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield’s interview on CNN and predicts that the posh photo sharing service could soon become a revenue source and give Getty Images and Corbis some anxious moments.
Getty, Corbis and the rest of the stock agencies would do well to keep an eye on what Flickr is up to here because Flickr today hold the largest best organized collection of photographs that exist in the world.