If Yahoo's investors were disappointed by Verizon's lower-than-hoped-for $3 billion bid to buy the tech company in June, Yahoo's last earnings report may have made them downright distraught about the company's value.
In what could be its last report as an independent company, Yahoo disclosed a loss of $439 million in the second quarter and an increase in expenses of 40%. The loss was largely attributed to the $395 million write-down of Tumblr, the blogging site Yahoo bought in 2013. In total, Yahoo has written down $625 million of Tumblr's value.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who made the decision to acquire Tumblr for $1.1 billion as part of her strategy to make Yahoo hipper, tried to put a positive spin on the numbers. "Our businesses dramatically simplified and we continue to manage costs while efficiently running the company," she said on a call with analysts.
The report was released the same day as a third, and potentially final, round of bids to buy the company were due. But unfortunately, news of the loss wasn't sweetened with an update for investors about the sale. Mayer only said that the board had made "great progress on strategic alternatives."
CNBC learned there are five bidders in the final round for Yahoo's core business, estimated to fetch between $3 billion and $8 billion. Verizon, the telecom giant that bought AOL, is still considered the front runner. AT&T and a partnership between Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert and billionaire Warren Buffet are also rumored to have submitted bids.
A person familiar with the process told The Wall Street Journal that Yahoo's talks with these buyers have dragged on for months partly because of uncertainty over "what's in the deal and what's not." Among the unresolved issues are the tech company's patents, real estate, and partnerships.
But according to CNBC's sources, Yahoo's goal is to finish the bidding process by the end of July. Oh, how the mighty one-time tech giant has fallen.