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What earnings reports reveal about online ads

The Associated Press

Companies that sell online advertising have begun releasing earnings reports for the latest quarter. Here are highlights of recent quarterly earnings reports from selected Internet and media companies and what they say about the state of spending on advertising.

— July 16: Yahoo Inc. says earnings climbed 46 percent, thanks to a major boost from an investment in Chinese Internet company Alibaba. But Yahoo's revenue fell 7 percent from last year, highlighting a recurring problem despite other signs of progress under Marissa Mayer's leadership as she marks a year with the company. After stripping out ad commissions, Yahoo's revenue came to $1.07 billion. That was slightly below analyst projections and marked a 1 percent decline from last year. It's the first time that Yahoo's net revenue has fallen since Mayer took over.

— July 18: Google's second-quarter results show that the search leader is still having trouble navigating a technological transition driving more online activity on to smartphones and tablets, which fetch lower ad rates. Google's average ad rate fell by 6 percent from the same time last year. The magnitude of the declines had eased in each of the previous three quarters, raising hopes that the worse was over. Instead, things deteriorated from the 4 percent decline in ad rates posted during the first three months of the year.

Microsoft Corp. says revenue in its online services division grew 9 percent in the latest quarter, thanks to an increase in revenue per search and volume. Microsoft's Bing search engine still lags Google's in use, however.

Coming up:

— July 24: Facebook Inc.

— Aug. 7: AOL Inc.