/// Earnings and Revenue Down — Yahoo Delivers on Expected Lackluster Quarter
Yahoo met weak financial expectations, turning in what can only be described as lackluster performance in its third-quarter earnings today. The Silicon Valley Internet giant said it earned 34 cents, a 13 percent decline, on revenues of $1.08 billion, a one percent decline from the same period a year ago. Analysts had been estimating that the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company would report a profit of 33 cents a share, so it’s slightly better on profits, but hardly anything to crow about given how strongly the sector is growing. Still, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer gamely tried to, pushing user growth (as I predicted she would). “I’m very pleased with our execution, especially as we’ve continued to invest in and strengthen our core business,” said Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. “Now with more than 800 million monthly users on Yahoo — up 20 percent over the past 15 months — we’re achieving meaningful increases in user engagement and traffic.” Still, it was hard to argue with other poor numbers on the board for display advertising, where Yahoo has struggled over recent years: Display advertising revenue was down seven percent. The number of ads sold increased only one percent. Price per ad declined seven percent. Still, search advertising showed some encouraging gains, after last quarter’s declines: Search revenue, minus traffic acquisition costs, was up three percent, though GAAP revenue was down eight percent. Paid clicks rose 21 percent. Bit price-per-click dropped four percent. On the plus side, there was more good news from its large stake China’s Alibaba Group, which is pretty much responsible for Yahoo’s recent stock surge. Yahoo said that it now does not have to sell as much of its 23 percent stake in Alibaba’s upcoming IPO as has been required in previous agreements. It now has to sell 39.7 percent of its assets, instead of nearly half. That means, it can ride the gains expected in the much anticipated public offering.