SAN JOSE, Calif. – Second-quarter earnings at Yahoo! Inc. edged past Wall Street expectations Wednesday, though the Internet giant said its results in the current quarter could fall slightly below current estimates.
Proving that the Internet economy remains deep in the doldrums, Yahoo showed a net loss of $48.5 million, or 9 cents per share, in the three-month period ending June 30, compared to a profit of $53.3 million, or 9 cents per share, a year ago.
Revenue slipped 33 percent, to $182.2 million from $273.0 million last year -- but beat Wall Street forecasts.
Excluding restructuring charges and other one-time items, Yahoo earned $8.7 million, or 1 cent a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call were predicting break-even per-share results.
Yahoo also said third-quarter results would be "approximately break-even." The consensus Wall Street forecast, according to Thomson Financial/First Call, is for earnings of 1 cent per share. Yahoo said it still expects full-year earnings per share of 2 cents to 6 cents, in line with the consensus forecast of 4 cents.
The earnings report followed two relatively quiet months at Yahoo since former Hollywood executive Terry Semel took over as chairman and chief executive. Semel was hired to revive Yahoo's slumping sales in a wretched market for online advertising, which accounted for 90 percent of the company's $1.1 billion in revenue last year.
A lackluster earnings report from the Web advertising agency DoubleClick Inc. on Tuesday had given analysts little hope of good news from Yahoo. Merrill Lynch analyst Henry Blodget said the online ad market is unlikely to pick up significantly until the middle of 2002.
That report helped push Yahoo shares down 80 cents, more than 4 percent, to $17.03 on the Nasdaq Stock Market before the earnings announcement. The stock jumped to $18.08 early in the extended trading period.
"After two months of being at Yahoo! and delving into the business, I believe more than ever that Yahoo! has an incredibly strong foundation upon which to build. There is a huge financial and strategic opportunity represented by our enormous base of consumers," Semel said in a statement.
"There is no single event that will transform this company. Rather, it will be a series of events starting this quarter that will demonstrate Yahoo!'s momentum and progress. In order to strengthen and grow the business, we will pursue partnerships and joint ventures with major corporations, make acquisitions, and continue to innovate and develop new services."
Yahoo said it now has 200 million registered users, up from 156 million this time last year. Jupiter Media Metrix said 104.4 million visitors around the world checked out Yahoo pages at home in May, making Yahoo more popular than any place on the Internet other than the sites run by Microsoft and AOL-Time Warner.
With three straight quarters of net losses, Yahoo needs much more than a rebound in the online advertising market. The company is finding adoption of several new subscription-based services "modest at best," W.R. Hambrecht & Co. analyst Derek Brown said in a research report Wednesday.
"Structural problems still exist within Yahoo that may require several quarters/years to address," he wrote.
Yahoo did say Wednesday it had filled key holes, naming new managing directors for its European and North Asian divisions and a new chief executive for its Korean group. Some important international managers had left Yahoo over the winter.
For the first six months of 2001, Yahoo's profit, excluding one-time charges, was $16.4 million, or 3 cents a share, compared to $129.7 million, or 21 cents a share, in the first half of 2000. Revenue fell 28 percent, to $362.4 million from $503.8 million.