Yahoo blinds analysts with science

October 29, 2009

Three years is a long time to go without having an analyst day, and it seems Yahoo decided to make up for lost time with a marathon seven-plus-hour briefing to Wall Street’s number-crunchers on Wednesday.

Perhaps having gotten a little rusty from non-practice, Yahoo dispensed with some of the customs of the analyst day ritual. Members of the press were barred from the event, and forced to watch the proceedings over a Webcast, with all the attendant technical difficulties and indignities.

Yahoo’s plug for analysts was simple enough: Yahoo got boring and slow-footed over the years, but the company still commands a massive online audience that’s extremely valuable to advertisers.

But the company’s delivery of the message did not always follow the standard analyst day script.

Specific financial targets were few and far between (Yahoo’s promise of 15 percent to 20 percent operating margins by 2012 was the meatiest nugget).

And one slide, during a presentation on advertising yield-optimization, seemed more suited to a blackboard at MIT than a briefing with financial analysts.

Questions?

5 comments

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Though it is less complex than Google’s algorythm…

Excuse me? Why is it anytime a mathematical equation is put forth, someone has to make some quip about being a “MIT student” in order to understand it? What the heck did you learn in school, anyway? We studied equations like this in high school – summations are a precursor to calculus (limits become derivatives, summations become integrals). Maybe instead of balking at the idea of math (beyond using a calculator to add 3 plus 3), you should instead learn something from it. Most of the time the “big equation” is easier to understand than you think.

Posted by Robert Smith | Report as abusive

If this moron actually learned something in high school, he wouldn’t be complaining right now. This is not that hard to understand. It’s high school level math, and you certainly don’t need degree from MIT to understand this. I wonder why US is behind in Math compared to other countires. It’s because morons like this guy never learn anything in high school except to solve problems using fancy TI (Texas Instruments) calculators….

Posted by Concerned Guy | Report as abusive

Me only say, me become writer because me no do good in high school math. Co-sine hard! Logarithm difficult!
Robert MacMillan
Reuters

They will copy Google. They do this every day.