Booming Business

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," April 8, 2004, that was edited for clarity.

Watch "Your World w/Cavuto" weekdays at 4 p.m. and 1 a.m. ET.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Yahoo! shareholders have something to cheer about, and how. The stock surging 16 percent. It’s at a three-year high, strong earnings, and plans for now a two for one stock split. Yahoo!’s profits more than doubling in the latest quarter, topping estimates by some 3 cents a share.

So will the boom continue? Who better to ask than Dan Rosensweig. He is Yahoo!’s chief operating officer.

Dan, good to have you.

DAN ROSENSWEIG, YAHOO! INC. COO (YHOO): Thanks for having me.

CAVUTO: You know, I remember there was a time with the Internet bubble being burst that everyone said Yahoo!’s days were numbered. You are one of a small group of Internet survivors. I will put in that group.

How did that happen?

ROSENSWEIG: Well, I think the mistake that everybody made was they thought the bubble was about what users were doing when it really was about what investors were doing. And if you actually look at the user growth that’s continued to happen all through the bubble and is even actually accelerating now, you begin to realize that we are an Internet nation, as you said earlier, and that 75 percent of U.S. households use the Internet.

Broadband means people are using it more and more often. Always on. They’re using our services more often. And I think what you are seeing now is a reflection of the fact that marketers always historically have followed their eyeballs, and the eyeballs are moving aggressively to the Internets. So I just think it is a secular change that’s beginning to catch up to itself.

CAVUTO: But it is even more than that, right, Dan? I mean, in Yahoo!’s case you could ostensibly have said in the beginning it was a search engine. It’s a lot more than that now.

ROSENSWEIG: Right. Well, again, I think we just represent what people are doing on the Internet.

Our primary goal is to make sure that we provide the best, most relevant, easy to use, easy to find services that add value to people’s lives. And the more they put on the Internet, the more things they do, from not just reading news or getting stock quotes, but storing photos and searching and doing e-mail and transferring information and listening to music and watching entertainment, they are just putting more of their lives on the Internet.

And Yahoo! is making sure that we put ourselves in a position to help them do that. And they are rewarding us by spending more time and using more of our services.

CAVUTO: I heard an analogy once to Yahoo!, Dan, and I hope I’m getting it right from a critic, who had said it is now becoming the single stop on the Internet rather than the launching point to other stops on the Internet. And that by keeping your customers there, that not only helps your advertising revenue, but it helps keep subscribership as strong as it is.

Where do you see Yahoo! going now from here?

ROSENSWEIG: Well, I mean, that is mostly what is actually happening, except for one significant different, which is, what we’re trying to is be as relevant and comprehensive as we possibly can. So we want to either provide through build, buy or partner all of the things that people want to do, but we also want to make the Web completely open to people.

So our investment in Yahoo! Search technology and the launch in 18 countries was about, find whatever you want, organize whatever you want through Yahoo!. And if we have it, great. And if we don’t, we’re going to make sure you find it as quickly as you want and be able to use it.

And as a result of that, they keep coming back and starting on us. So we have become both a starting point and a destination for many things.

CAVUTO: There was a time when Yahoo! -- and it was, I think at $220 a share at the Internet high. It was rumored to be a network takeover artist, and maybe the other way around now. Have you guys given up such grandiose pairings?

ROSENSWEIG: Well, I think what we try to do is build every. The reality is that there is a shift to the Internet. There are technologies allowing more things to happen. And so the opportunities that we have are just getting greater.

But we focus on what the users need. We’ve become the largest destination on the Internet as a result of listening to what users want and providing it. And so we just will systematically keep executing on our plan and make sure that we provide the best of those services. And we just see a very long runway right now for things to do.

CAVUTO: All right. Dan Rosensweig, thank you very much. Appreciate it. Yahoo!’s COO joining us out of California.

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