Comparing Yahoo! and Apple may seem like I’m comparing oranges and. . . well. . . apples but I think it’s more like a Tale of Two Cities.
Though Yahoo is still having a tough time remaining relevant, we have to give them props for being internet pioneers. In the early days, the company broke records for stock prices and there wasn’t a person on the net who didn’t visit Yahoo for search, content or webmail.
But time hasn’t been good to our old friend Yahoo. Recently released Q4 reports show another decline in revenue. CEO Marissa Mayer tried to put a positive spin on it saying that the company was finally showing signs of stability. Then she pointed to the gains in mobile advertising.
“Our mobile strategy and focus has transformed Yahoo and yielded significant results. In Q4, we saw $ 254 million in mobile revenue, up 23% quarter-over-quarter. Across all of 2014, we saw gross mobile revenue of $ 1.26 billion and GAAP mobile revenue of $ 768 million”
That’s nice, but display advertising, which used to be a huge part of the business is down 4% over the same quarter last year. Oddly, they sold more ads but the lower price tag on those ads led to the decline in revenue.
Then we have Apple. When Yahoo was in its prime, Apple was a fading computer company. But everything changed when they found a way to pack your entire music library into a pocket-sized, portable player.
Now, thanks to even more miniature, mobile devices, Apple is reporting record-breaking revenue for the quarter.
The Company posted record quarterly revenue of $ 74.6 billion and record quarterly net profit of $ 18 billion, or $ 3.06 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $ 57.6 billion and net profit of $ 13.1 billion, or $ 2.07 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 39.9 percent compared to 37.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 65 percent of the quarter’s revenue.
Apple sold 51 million iPhones this past quarter, breaking another record. Chief Executive Tim Cook said that’s an average of 34,000 iPhones every hour of every day in the quarter. Nice.
Apple also sold 26 million iPads and 5.5 million Macs in the quarter.
Now we have the big questions; can Apple continue breaking their own records or will some other company come out of the night to challenge them?
As for Yahoo, I think their glory days are over. The question now is simply, can they hang on and for how long?