Thu, Jul 19, 2012 - Page 15 News List

Yahoo’s profit dips, but stays ahead of forecasts

AFP, SAN FRANCISCO

Yahoo said Tuesday its profit in the past quarter fell modestly in results reflecting upheaval at the struggling Internet pioneer, which named a new top executive this week.

The company, which appointed Marissa Mayer of Google as its new chief executive on Monday, said profit fell 4 percent to US$226.6 million, in a report that was better than expected.

That translated to US$0.27 per share excluding special items, ahead of analyst expectations of US$0.23 a share.

Revenues excluding traffic acquisition costs, the key barometer for the Web giant, were flat at US$1.08 billion, below most forecasts. Total revenues were virtually unchanged at US$1.2 billion.

The results underscored the turmoil at the California tech firm, which is undergoing major restructuring and forced out its top executive in May over an inflated resume.

Chief financial officer Tim Morse said the results beat consensus forecasts in areas including display and search advertising, where Yahoo has been pounded by Google.

Over the past quarter, Yahoo “moved aggressively with new strategic agreements” and unveiled new partnerships, he said, as the pioneering Internet search firm continued a quest to re-invent itself.

Many analysts were focused on the new CEO and future strategy instead of the past quarter.

“Her background should certainly benefit Yahoo’s mobile strategy in addition to news and search verticals,” Susquehanna Financial Group’s Herman Leung said.

“Three CEOs in less than a year does not spell confidence for investors despite a strong hire, but the good news is that she will likely have a few quarters of runway before investors gauge progress,” he said.

The results came a day after the 37-year-old Mayer — one of Google’s first employees — was named CEO.

Mayer did not take part in the quarterly earnings call with analysts eager to learn her plan for reviving the company.

“Since this is Marissa’s first day on the job she will not be joining us,” said Morse, who handled the call. “You will be hearing from her soon.”

He did away with the usual step of providing guidance into Yahoo performance expectations in the months ahead. He did outline priorities for Yahoo that included online video, partnerships with major digital media companies and reaching users on smartphones and tablet computers.

Morse said that the deal to have Alibaba (阿里巴巴) buy back half of the 40 percent stake Yahoo has in the Chinese e-commerce titan is on pace to close in fewer than six months. The approximately US$4 billion Yahoo expects to net from the deal will be “returned to shareholders,” perhaps in the form of stock buy-backs.

Yahoo said that it has yet to see revenue results envisioned from a deal made three years ago with Microsoft to have Bing power search queries at Yahoo online venues.

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