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Marissa Mayer keeps the Yahoo ship steady with first set of results

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By Noel Young, Correspondent

January 29, 2013 | 3 min read

Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer , six months into the job, has posted quarterly results that topped analysts' estimates.

Marissa: honeymoon goes on

Yahoo posted an 8% profit drop and a 2% revenue increase for its fourth quarter.

While the results were far from robust, said the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo "showed its business was holding steady instead of deteriorating".

The Sunnyvale, California company's shares rose 2.9% to $20.90 in after-hours trading, after a 4 p.m. Nasdaq Stock Market close at $20.31.

For Mayer, the results were enough that the "honeymoon period is going to last at least a couple of more quarters" while investors wait to see progress, Sameet Sinha, an analyst at B. Riley & Co told the WSJ.

Mayer , hired from Google last July has revamped some Yahoo websites such as Yahoo Mail and Flickr, increased employee perks and begun to acquire small companies in order to add talent.

The 37-year-old CEO, who had a baby shortly after she took over, has also said she wants Yahoo, which owns popular sports, news and entertainment sites, to become a force in mobile-device software for consumers and to provide "customised" content for people based on their interests, background and location.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Mayer said she plans to achieve that vision through "smart partnerships" with other companies.

While mobile is a "nascent source of revenue for us," Yahoo sites get more than 200 million monthly unique visitors from mobile-device users, Ms. Mayer said following the earnings release. "With any platform shift, revenue always follows users, and mobile will be no different," she said.

One bright spot: revenue on Yahoo's Web-search site, powered by Microsoft's Bing search engine, rose 14% from a year ago, excluding commission payouts.

Yahoo still faces numerous challenges, said the WSJ, including marketers who have expressed a lack of enthusiasm about the company.

Overall, Yahoo posted fourth-quarter earnings of $272 million, or 23 cents a share, down from $296 million, or 24 cents a share, a year earlier. This figure was hit by charges from the recent closure of its South Korean business. Revenue increased to $1.35 billion from $1.32 billion.

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