the world's most popular portal, will announce its third-quarter results today (Tuesday) – with many Internet pundits fearing rocky times ahead for the company.

Internet analysts consider Yahoo a touchstone for the overall health of Internet stock. To date, Yahoo has consistently beaten market expectation, showing strong growth of both users and revenues.

However, investors now question whether Yahoo can plug the revenue gap left by the collapse of so many dot.coms that were Yahoo advertisers.

But they also stress that Yahoo’s trump card could prove to be the advantage its large audience gives it over its competitors.

In the run-up to the Yahoo announcement Merrill Lynch Internet analyst, Henry Blodget, told BBC Online: "Given the extreme volatility of share prices and valuations, we still consider most pure-play Internet stocks unsuitable for investors with average risk tolerance.”