It’s Scary That Yahoo Finance is Wrong

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A couple days ago I blogged about Omniture’s (OMTR) market cap being half that of Web Side Story (WSSI). I based my blog post on Yahoo Finance. They put Omniture’s market cap at $102.7 million today. Fortunately, two of my readers have commented that Yahoo Finance was wrong. The number of outstanding shares is not 14 million, but 40-50 million. They point out that according to other finance sites (such as Marketwatch) Omniture’s market cap is $327 million, higher than Web Side Story like it ought to be, based on revenue and revenue growth.

I take responsibility for writing a blog post based on inaccurate data on Yahoo Finance. I’ve learned my lesson: don’t trust a single source for financial data, or more specifically, don’t rely on Yahoo Finance for financial data period. I remember Yahoo Finance being inaccurate some time ago for something else I was researching. So I think I’ll switch to Google Finance (their OMTR data is accurate), but I’ll try to remember to always check multiple sources before coming to any conclusion and especially before blogging.

To compound the error, my web site ranks #1 on google for the search “Omniture market cap” based on my earlier post. (Yahoo finance ranks #2 because of my link to them.) So for a couple of days, before my readers corrected the error, web users worldwide would have read my blog post, which was based on faulty data and therefore had a faulty premise–that Omniture’s value was lower than Web Side Story’s–or they could have gone to Yahoo Finance and found the same data that I found.

Thank goodness for blog readers and for the blogosphere in general which tends to be very self-correcting over time. And thank goodness for a semi-efficient market which values a great company higher than a good one.

Someone at Yahoo should comment here and explain why a company with their size and reach can possibly get away with having inaccurate data on a highly visible company that recently went public. There is no excuse for this. Unless they correct their problems, they ought to be slammed pretty hard by some mainstream journalist. Maybe I’ll email my friend at the SF Chronicle…

(Note: I still own shares in Omniture, as I said in my earlier blog post as well.)

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