Yahoo Profit Tops Estimates Amid Plans to Complete Verizon Sale

Yahoo! Inc. reported third-quarter profit that topped estimates, a rare bit of good news after a large-scale hack of user data was disclosed last month that could threaten the purchase of the company’s main web assets by Verizon Communications Inc.

Profit before certain items was 20 cents a share, topping analysts’ average projection of 14 cents, the company said Tuesday in a statement. Sales, excluding revenue passed on to partners for web traffic, fell 14 percent to $857.7 million. The revenue missed the analysts’ estimate of $860.1 million and was the seventh time in the past eight marking periods this key metric fell.

Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer is facing renewed concerns about Verizon’s acquisition of Yahoo’s core internet operations for $4.8 billion following the revelation last month of a breach that exposed more than 500 million user accounts. Verizon General Counsel Craig Silliman said last week it would be reasonable to assume that the hack represents a material impact to the phone carrier’s July deal. Verizon now has misgivings about the deal, in part because it hasn’t received detailed information about the breach, a person familiar with the matter said.

“We take deep responsibility in protecting our users and the security of their information,” Mayer said in the statement. “We’re working hard to retain their trust and are heartened by their continued loyalty as seen in our user engagement trends.”

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