Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Yahoo profit nearly trebles

SUNNYVALE, California - Yahoo's first-quarter earnings nearly tripled as the internet company's revenue edged up for the first time in more than a year.

The results released on Tuesday, local time, represented Yahoo's best quarterly performance since it hired CEO Carol Bartz to engineer a turnaround 15 months ago.

The performance reflected an upturn in online advertising, the main source of Yahoo's income. Advertisers have been spending more freely in recent months amid signs that the US economy has emerged from its worst recession in more than 70 years.

Display advertising, a category that includes online billboards and other visual marketing campaigns, surged 20 per cent from last year, Yahoo said.

The company earned $310.2 million, or 22 cents per share, in the January-March period. That compared with income of $117.6 million, or 8 cents per share, a year ago.

The results were boosted by the recent sale of an email service and the initial payments from Microsoft to cover some of the costs of a search advertising partnership between the two companies.

Excluding those one-time gains, Yahoo said it would have earned 15 cents per share. That figure easily topped the average estimate of 9 cents per share among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

"We had a good quarter, delivering income from operations higher than our outlook," Bartz said in a statement.

Revenue was up 1 per cent to $1.6 billion. Although modest, the gain represented the first time Yahoo's quarterly revenue has increased since the third quarter of 2008.

After subtracting commissions paid to its advertising partners, Yahoo's revenue totaled $1.13 billion - about $40 million below analyst estimates.

Yahoo shares climbed 13 cents in Tuesday's extended trading after finishing the regular session at $18.38, down a penny.

- AP

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