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Yahoo! Company Earnings Just Okay Again

Paul Ausick

Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) reported fiscal third quarter 2013 results after markets closed Tuesday afternoon. The Internet portal company reported quarterly adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.34 on revenue of $1.2 billion. In the same period a year ago, Yahoo reported EPS of $0.39 on revenue of $1.14 billion. Third-quarter results compare to the consensus estimates for EPS of $0.33 on revenue of $1.08 billion.

Excluding traffic acquisition costs (ex-TAC) third quarter revenues totaled $1.08 billion compared with $1.09 billion in the third quarter of 2012. Ex-TAC revenues are what the analysts’ estimate is based on.

Revenues and earnings slipped year-over-year by any measure, GAAP and non-GAAP. GAAP income from operations of $93 million included a $25 million restructuring charge, but non-GAAP income from operations was $80 million higher, so a $55 million difference. Still not very impressive.

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Yahoo’s CEO said:

I’m very pleased with our execution, especially as we’ve continued to invest in and strengthen our core business. In Q3, we launched new user experiences across many of our digital daily habits -- Yahoo Screen, My Yahoo, Fantasy Sports, and more. Now with more than 800 million monthly users on Yahoo -- up 20 percent over the past 15 months -- we're achieving meaningful increases in user engagement and traffic.

Yahoo also announced that it has reached an agreement with Alibaba to reduce the maximum number of shares Yahoo is required to sell in connection with a qualified initial public offering of Alibaba stock. The number was lowered from 261.5 million shares to 208 million shares.

Display revenue (ex-TAC) fell 7% year-over-year to $421 million in the third quarter. The number of ads sold excluding sales in Korea rose about 1% and the price-per-ad, again excluding Korea, fell about 7%. Search revenue (ex-TAC) rose 3% to $435 million and paid clicks (excluding Korea) increased 21% though the price-per-click fell about 4%.

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Shares are up about 0..5% in after-hours trading Tuesday, at $33.46 in a 52-week range of $15.74 to $35.06. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $31.40 before today’s results were announced.

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