Yahoo Revenue Tops Estimates as Sale Process Nears an End

Yahoo Revenue Tops 2Q Estimates Amid Sale
  • Board making progress on strategic options, CEO Mayer Says
  • Staff count is lowest in a decade as web portal cuts costs

Yahoo! Inc.’s quarterly revenue topped analysts’ estimates, a sign Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer is making some headway slowing an exodus of ad dollars while seeking to sell the web portal’s core assets.

Key Points

  • Second-quarter sales, excluding revenue passed on to partners, fell to $841.2 million. That compares with the average analyst estimate for $839.6 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
  • Profit before certain items was 9 cents a share, the company said Monday in a statement. Analysts projected profit of 10 cents.
  • Shares rose less than 1 percent in extended trading. The stock had increased 0.6 percent to $37.95 at the close in New York, leaving it up 14 percent this year.
  • Yahoo recorded charges of $482 million related to Tumblr, citing a decline in projected operating results and cash flow from the blogging service, which the company acquired for $1.1 billion in 2013.
  • "Our board’s independent strategic review committee, which is leading a well-run robust process, continues to manage this effort and we are making great progress,” Mayer said on a conference call. “While we have no announcement today, I can say we are deep into the process of evaluating proposals and alternatives and will update our shareholders as soon as it’s prudent.”

Big Picture

While sales fell less than analysts projected, investors remain preoccupied with the potential sale of Yahoo’s web businesses -- a process that could soon reach its finale, with bids due Monday. Suitors so far have included Verizon Communications Inc., AT&T Inc. and private equity firms -- and earlier offers have ranged in price from about $3.75 billion to $6 billion, depending on what assets are part of the bid. While Mayer’s four-year attempt to revive the onetime web leader has faltered, the Sunnyvale, California-based company has touted its massive user base and progressive advertising services as assets a buyer could leverage.

The Detail

  • Revenue from Mavens, the company’s name for its portfolio of modern services such as mobile, video and social, rose 26 percent from a year ago to $504 million, including the impact of a change in the way Yahoo presents its revenue. Excluding the change, Mavens revenue would have been $385 million, the company said.
  • The presentation of revenue was changed because of a shift in Yahoo’s search partnership with Microsoft Corp.
  • Mobile advertising revenue, including the revenue-reporting change, rose 50 percent to $378 million. Without the impact of the change, mobile revenue would have been $259 million. It had climbed 11 percent in the first quarter.
  • Yahoo kept its 2016 outlook for adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $700 million to $800 million unchanged.
  • Yahoo had 8,800 employees at the end of the quarter, compared with about 10,900 in the year-ago period, according to a company slide presentation. Staff had dropped to 9,200 as of April.
  • Mayer said the company has its “lowest cost structure and headcount in a decade.”
  • The web portal’s cash and marketable securities rose to $7.67 billion.

Street Takeaways

  • The company should move faster to sell the core business, said Colin Gillis, an analyst with BGC Partners. "Management shouldn’t defend their performance and write down Tumblr in the same quarter."
  • "It’s another day closer to the end," said Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research Group. "It’s difficult to find the meaningfulness if the most likely of likelihoods involves this company, the operating unit, no longer existing under the current corporate structure or the current management."
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