Is one company's trash another firm's treasure?
"We think it's worth aggressively pursuing," EarthLink CEO Rolla Huff told The Wall Street Journal yesterday.
Aggressively pursuing? Don't knock yourself out, Huff. You're probably the only one interested in AOL's dial-up business. Really. Save for a few cable and telco providers that bundle access with their flagship offerings, can you think of any other company besides EarthLink that would pay good money to go after a Web access play?
If access is what Time Warner
I just hope that EarthLink knows what it's doing. The market liked the company's second-quarter report yesterday, sending shares 10% higher after the company was able to grow its earnings by aggressively cutting costs. The problem is that revenue fell by 21%. EarthLink may have become more adept at squeezing blood from a stone, but it's a shrinking stone. Snapping up access players is only a temporary solution.
United Online and Time Warner have communicated their intentions to diversify away from access. If you find that you are alone in the hunt for a fading business, maybe you should have your bidding card examined. At the very least, reconsider the definition of aggressive pursuit.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz wonders if ISP stands for "It's So Profitless" to companies outside of EarthLink. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy, and it's got some really funky hair in its high school yearbook picture.