Yahoo Signs Ad Pact With Google; Earnings and Revenue Miss

Yahoo Signs Ad Pact With Google; Earnings and Revenue Miss
Yahoo Inc said on Tuesday it had signed a search advertising deal with Google Inc, providing a potential boost to Marissa Mayer's efforts to turn around the company, which also reported revenue and profit that fell short of market estimates.

The deal with Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc, builds on an existing search partnership Microsoft Corp under which Yahoo gets a percentage of revenue from ads displayed on its sites.

Yahoo, whose shares were down 1.6 percent in after-hours trading, said the companies have agreed to delay implementation of the deal in the United States to allow the antitrust division of the Department of Justice to review it.

Yahoo has been struggling to boost revenue from ad sales in the face of stiff competition from Google and Facebook.

The Google deal was one of the few bright spots included in the company's third-quarter results statement.

Yahoo said it expected fourth-quarter revenue of $1.16 billion-$1.20 billion (roughly Rs. 7,549 crores - Rs. 7,810 crores), well below the average analyst estimate of $1.33 billion (roughly Rs. 8,656 crores), according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Mayer, in her fourth year as chief executive, said the forecast was "not indicative of the performance we want."

"We are also experiencing continued revenue headwinds in our core (advertising) business, especially in the legacy portions," Mayer said on a call with analysts.

Mavens perform
Yahoo said the proposed spinoff of its 15 percent stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd - a key issue for shareholders - may now close in January.

Yahoo earlier this year sought a private letter ruling from the Internal Revenue Service to confirm whether the transaction, worth about $27 billion (roughly Rs. 1,75,725 crores) currently, would result in a tax obligation. The tax agency denied the request, but Yahoo said it would go ahead with the spinoff by year-end anyway.

Many analysts attribute little value to Yahoo's core business without its Asian assets, which also include a 35 percent stake in Yahoo Japan Corp.

Apart from the Google deal, the only other good news came results came from Yahoo's emerging businesses, which Mayer calls Mavens - mobile, video, native and social advertising.

Revenue in that area rose 43 percent to $422 million (roughly Rs. 2,746 crores) in the quarter. Native advertising refers to ads that blend into the type and style of the content being viewed.

Excluding items, the company earned 15 cents per share, missing the average analyst estimate of 17 cents.

Revenue after deducting fees paid to partner websites fell to $1.0 billion (roughly Rs. 6,508 crores) from $1.09 billion (roughly Rs. 7,094 crores), and the company forecast a drop to $920 million-$960 million (roughly Rs. 5,987 crores - Rs. 6,248 crores) in the current quarter.

Traffic acquisition costs, the amount Yahoo spends to attract users to its websites, jumped to $223 million (roughly Rs. 1,451 crores) in the quarter from $54 million (roughly Rs. 351 crores) a year earlier.

GAAP revenue rose 6.8 percent to $1.23 billion (roughly Rs. 8,000 crores), falling short of the average analyst estimate of $1.26 billion (roughly Rs. 8,200 crores), according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Through Tuesday's close of $32.83, Yahoo's shares had lost 35 percent this year.

© Thomson Reuters 2015


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