By Jessica Shambora
January 28, 2009

“This is fantastic Internet property and it really doesn’t deserve everybody trying to pick it apart. This is not a company that needs to be pulled apart and left for the chickens. That’s my Wisconsin coming through.”

— Yahoo

CEO Carol Bartz in Tuesday’s fourth-quarter earnings call with investors after the market closed.

Bartz’s comments reflect the challenge of taking charge at a onetime tech darling that has been weakened by rival Google

, targeted for unsolicited acquisition by Microsoft

, and suffered a serious talent drain under its last two CEOs, Jerry Yang and Terry Semel. As Pattie mentioned in her post on Bartz two weeks ago, the new CEO always tells it like it is, and on the call she said to analysts, “My promise is to really communicate with you guys.” Bartz didn’t give up a lot today, but then she’s only been on the job nine days.

Excluding one-time charges, Yahoo reported earnings of $238 million, or 17 cents a share, exceeding analyst expectations of 13 cents a share. Including some $600 million in writedowns and severance payouts, Yahoo reported a net loss of $303 milion, or 22 cents a share. Revenues slid 1% to $1.81 billion for the quarter. It was the first quarterly loss for Yahoo since 2002 and the first decline in revenue since 2001. The stock has dropped 43% over the past year but was up almost 2% in regular trading and climbed another 5% to $11.88 on the news. –Jessica Shambora

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