Yahoo Earnings: "transformative" 2009 leads to "positive momentum" in 2010

Yahoo's fourth quarter financial report beats revenue expectations as the company looks ahead to positive momentum in 2010
Written by Sam Diaz, Inactive

Yahoo today reported fourth quarter net income of $214 million, or 15 cents per share, Adjusted for expenses, notably costs related to the Microsoft search deal and restructuring, the company earned 11 cents per share. Revenue for the quarter was $1.73 billion, a four percent slip from last year's Q4 sales. (Statement)

Analysts had been expecting earnings of 11 cents per share on sales of $1.23 billion.

For the full year, the company reported earnings of 63 cents on sales of $6.46 billion.

In a statement, CEO Carol Bartz called the fourth quarter a strong finish to a "transformative year" for Yahoo and that there's "positive momentum" for 2010.

In a call with analysts today, Bartz called her first year as Yahoo's CEO a wonderful, but bumpy, ride. She said the company is focused on consumer experiences, advertiser experiences and increase the value of the properties.

She said the company is no longer looking inward - that is, shuffling the management team, ridding the company of under-performing properties and re-designing key sites that generate volumes of traffic, such as mail, finance, sports and the home page.

The next step, she said, is to look outward and focus at opportunities for growth, such as enhanced mobile offerings, integration with social networking tools and increased original content around video. In addition, the company is eyeing smaller companies for acquisition, those that bring smart technology and smart people, niche properties that bring an audience that meets Yahoo's advertising goals and those that are targeted at specific geographies, allowing Yahoo to meet local advertising needs.

On the call, she told analysts that the company is "just getting started and is feeling good heading into 2010.

The outlook for the first quarter is $1.575 billion to $1.675 billion in sales and income form operations in the range of $90 million to $110 million. In a prepared statement, Bartz said, "We're pleased that the midpoint of our Q1 revenue outlook marks the first quarter of year-over-year growth in six quarters."

Shares of Yahoo were up slightly in regular trading, closing at $15.99. Shares were sliding, down as much as two percent, in after hours trading. The company will host a conference call with analysts this afternoon to discuss the results.

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