Yahoo's first quarter: Still looking for revenue growth

Yahoo's first quarter: Still looking for revenue growth

Summary: Wall Street's expectations for Yahoo's first quarter earnings weren't very high, and Yahoo managed to beat them by a penny.

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Yahoo's first quarter earnings cleared Wall Street's low expectations, but the company is still looking for revenue growth.

Yahoo reported first quarter earnings of $222 million, or 17 cents a share. (statement). Revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs was $1.06 billion, down 6 percent from a year ago. Wall Street was expecting earnings of 16 cents a share on revenue of $1.05 billion.

For the second quarter, Yahoo projected revenue excluding TAC of $1.07 billion to $1.12 billion. Wall Street was looking for revenue of $1.097 billion. For 2011 overall, Yahoo expected to report earnings of 76 cents a share on revenue of $4.51 billion.

Revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs were down 6% since the first quarter of 2010, which was attributed to search agreement with Microsoft. Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz seemed optimistic about "returning Yahoo! to sustainable revenue and profit growth," adding,

During the quarter, we beat the midpoint of revenue guidance while continuing to deliver on the bottom line. We continued to extend our lead as the world's premier digital media company with users to Yahoo! branded properties increasing 15% year over year and minutes spend increasing 17%.

Nevertheless, confidence in Bartz has been waning for some time now, as evident by a recent approval poll which found Bartz near the bottom of the list with support from only 50% of her employees.

Highlights from Yahoo's product talk:

  • Yahoo is working on more mobile platform projects, namely Livestand (a digital newsstand), MarketDash for finance and Yahoo! Safely
  • Yahoo has partnered with Omnicom Group to build more "engaging online experiences"
  • Akamai Technologies president David Kenny was appointed to Yahoo's Board of Directors, likely to help work on interactive communications programs

By the numbers:

  • Cash flow was $208 million, 45% higher compared to $144 million for Q1 2010
  • Yahoo repurchased eight million shares for $137 million
  • Major events bumped up page views. The Super Bowl drove more than 37 million clicks, double from the 2010 Super Bowl, and the Oscars saw more than one billion page views, 23% higher than during last year's broadcast

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