Yahoo beat Wall Street analysts' expectations slightly on second-quarter earnings, which were 27 cents profit per share versus predictions of 23 cents per share. Display revenue grew 1 percent year-over-year and search revenue grew 4 percent, CFO Tim Morse said on an earnings call Tuesday afternoon, although overall earnings were down from last year. Yahoo's stock rose, then wobbled in after-hours trading on the news.
Yahoo's stock rose, then wobbled in after-hours trading
Yahoo's new CEO Marissa Mayer did not lead the company's second-quarter earnings call today, nor did she jump on to say hello. Morse lead the call instead. "Obviously this is a very exciting and dynamic day to have our earnings call given yesterday's announcement of the hiring of Marissa Mayer as CEO," Morse said at the beginning of the conference call with shareholders. It's Mayer's first day, he apologized, but "she is very mindful of the importance of the investor community... and you'll be hearing from her soon."
Morse talked up Yahoo's partnerships with Microsoft, ABC News, Facebook and other media partners as promising growth areas. He also mentioned the summer Olympics and the 2012 elections as events Yahoo can dominate with original coverage and video. The financing for the sale of half of Yahoo's stake in Alibaba back to the Chinese ecommerce company, was costly but is almost in place and will score Yahoo some operating cash. "Where all that nets out, I don't know," Morse said, but "it's really on a nice trend."
"We believe it's best to give our new CEO time to get acclimated before providing any future guidance."
Typically, Yahoo would end the call with some forward-looking statements. But given the circumstances, Morse said, "we believe it's best to give our new CEO time to get acclimated to Yahoo before providing any future guidance." He also demurred when asked about the reasoning behind Mayer's hiring. "We are very happy to have such a top-notch CEO in place. We're just going to have to take a little bit of time to work through exactly what that means in terms of the direction," he said.
Mayer told the Financial Times that Yahoo's success "starts with being relevant to consumers in their everyday lives – email, search, the homepage and now mobile, and really innovating in some of the verticals like finance, sports, video and messenger." So in other words, expect an emphasis on useful products from Yahoo.