If you take Steve Ballmer at his word, the only way Yahoo shareholders may be able to squeeze a bit more money out of Microsoft Corp is to pray for a stellar earnings report from the software company Thursday afternoon.
We weren’t expecting huge surprises during Yahoo’s earnings conference call, but CEO Jerry Yang was spectacularly vague about the Internet company’s plans vis-a-vis Microsoft or any other potential tie-ups — with Google, Time Warner’s AOL or News Corp — that Yahoo has been working on.
Google suprised the market with better than expected quarterly results despite worries that it was being hit by economic weakness after comScore data showed it having trouble converting Web search into ad viewer. Google CEO Eric Schmidt even went as far as to say the company would still perform well for the whole year “regardless of the business environment.” For investors, the results wiped away fears that Google was just as vulnerable as any company to recession fears and, as of this morning, company shares were up more than $80.
Yahoo may be ready to turn over its Web search advertising to Google following a successful test using Google’s service to deliver ads alongside its Web search results. But that’s only the beginning of what could be a swirl of deals. Or Not.