Yahoo Grows Mavens and Cash With Earnings

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Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) has released its highly awaited results for the first quarter of 2016. Yahoo revenue was $1.09 billion, with an ex-traffic acquisition costs revenue report of $859.4 million. Adjusted earnings for the first quarter was $0.08 per share. Thomson First Call had the official estimates at $0.07 in earnings per share on $1.08 billion in revenue.

If you include the items for a net income basis, or GAAP, Yahoo’s net was -$0.10 in earnings per share (or $99.2 million) — versus a gain of $0.02 EPS last year (or $21 million).

The so-called Mavens revenues, the company’s newer growth efforts, generated revenue of $390 million in the first quarter of 2016 — versus $365 million a year ago. Yahoo said that its Mavens revenue represented 33% of traffic-driven revenue in the first quarter of 2015, and increased to 38% in the first quarter of 2016.

Mobile revenue rose to $260 million versus $234 million a year ago. Desktop revenue was $774 million, down from $873 million a year ago. Yahoo showed that its mobile revenue represented 21% of traffic-driven revenue in the first quarter of 2015, and increased to 25% in the first quarter of 2016.  Gross mobile revenue for the first quarter of 2015 and 2016 was $391 million and $412 million, respectively.

Yahoo showed that its gross search revenue was $820 million for the first quarter of 2016, a decrease of 15% compared to the first quarter of 2015. Cost of revenue, the traffic acquisition paid to search partners was $144 million for the first quarter of 2016, a 44% boost compared to the first quarter of 2015. Paid Clicks fell 21% versus the first quarter of 2015, and the Price-per-Click rose by 7% versus the first quarter of 2015.

On the balance sheet, Yahoo showed that its cash and equivalents rose by about $300 million. It had a balance of $7.1 billion as of March 31, 2016 versus $6.8 billion as of December 31, 2015.

Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, said of the quarter and of ongoing initiatives:

I’m pleased that we delivered Q1 results in line with our expectations. Our 2016 plan is off to a solid start as we continue to focus on driving efficiency, lowering costs, and improving long-term growth. In tandem, we made substantial progress towards potential strategic alternatives for Yahoo. Our board, our management team, and I are completely aligned on this top priority for shareholders.

Ken Goldman, CFO of Yahoo, said:

We delivered financial results at the high end or above our guidance ranges. We also achieved free cash flow of $297 million through improved working capital efficiencies, excellent cost controls, reduced capital expenditures and a large tax refund. While we remain focused on the strategic alternatives process as a top priority, our employees showed their determination and commitment to Yahoo by executing on our operating plan.

Yahoo! shares closed down 0.5% at $36.33, with a 52-week range of $26.15 to $45.18. Its pre-earnings consensus analyst target was $38.82.