CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Internet

Yahoo making 'great progress' on sale. But to what end?

The same day CEO Marissa Mayer announces unremarkable earnings, the next -- and possibly final -- round of bids reportedly comes in. That means the end of Yahoo, as we know it.

© ELIJAH NOUVELAGE/Reuters/Corbis

Once again, Yahoo is giving the world an update on how its business is doing. And once again, no one really cares.

What people really want to hear about is what exactly is going on with the lumbering internet giant's effort to sell itself. The deadline for the next -- and possibly final -- round of bids is reportedly Monday.

But Yahoo isn't spilling the beans. "We have no announcement today," CEO Marissa Mayer said during conference call with analysts. She added the company is "making great progress" toward a sale.

Yahoo has been trying to sell off its internet business -- which includes iconic properties like Yahoo Mail and Fantasy Sports, as well as the company's advertising technology -- since February.

One of the leading suitors is said to be Verizon, which already owns fellow web trailblazer AOL. Another group in the running is led by Quicken Loans founder and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, with the financial backing of Warren Buffett.

Meanwhile, Yahoo on Monday gave its quarterly financial snapshot. Sales rose to $1.3 billion from $1.2 billion a year ago. Profit, minus some costs, was 9 cents a share. The company beat analysts' sales expectations of $1.08 billion but missed earnings-per-share expectations by a cent.

It's been four years since Mayer took the helm. She was initially seen as a white knight -- formerly a hotshot Google executive -- tasked with turning the troubled company around. So far, she's spent billions on acquisitions to grow Yahoo's engineering talent. She also sought to turn Yahoo into a media powerhouse. Instead, bets like the revival of NBC's cult favorite "Community" haven't panned out, and Mayer shut down Screen, the company's video service, in January.

Mayer engineered the splashy acquisition of the blogging site Tumblr in 2013 for $1.1 billion. But on Monday, the company said that it was reducing the book value of the price by $482 million. That's in addition to the $230 million it reduced it last quarter.

So far, Yahoo's process for selling itself has been sluggish. There was criticism early on that the company was just going through the motions and not really looking for a buyer, though Mayer denied that. Most recently, there were reportedly complaints that the range of bids in the last round, from $3.5 billion to $5 billion, was too low.

On Monday's call, Mayer at times sounded reflective. She touted the accomplishments of her tenure, including creating a new, more modern ad business. "This groundwork will serve as a foundation for this company's next chapter," she said. "I am proud of what this company has achieved over these past four years. I remain committed to our team."

If Yahoo is sold, it would be an unceremonious end of independence for one of the internet's earliest pioneers. It was founded in 1995 by Stanford graduate students Jerry Yang and David Filo, and was once the web's brightest star. But it hasn't been able to hold onto that glory as rivals including Google, Facebook and even younger companies like Snapchat have won over users.

Updated 4:10 p.m. PT: Adds more detail after Mayer's conference call with analysts.