Yahoo Earnings: Did Mayer Make Good?

yahoo truckAfter one full quarter and part of another, the vision for Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) that Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer has espoused in earlier earnings conference calls should have started to coalesce and the evidence of her progress begun to show.

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One hundred days into her tenure, during Yahoo’s October earnings conference call, Mayer outlined her plan: establish new performance measurements, improved the company’s corporate culture, and — most importantly — “ride the platform shift [to mobile] in order to be relevant.” Yahoo, she added, was also looking to modernize Yahoo Mail and Messenger, improve the homepage, and grow market share.

“I’m pleased with Yahoo’s performance in the first quarter. We saw continued stability in our business, strengthened our team, and started the year with fast execution against our products and partnerships,” Mayer said in the company’s earning press release. “We are moving quickly to roll out beautifully designed, more intuitive experiences for our users. I’m confident that the improvements we’re making to our products will set up the Company for long-term growth”…

That sentiment is exactly what investors hoped see revealed in the company’s first quarter earnings report. But what do the numbers show?

Released just after the market closed on Tuesday, the web portal announced better-than-expected earnings per share of 38 cents, while revenue — excluding traffic acquisition costs — remained flat, compared to the year-ago quarter, at $1.07 billion. Analysts had predicted that the company would report revenue of $1.1 billion and earnings of 24 cents per share.

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During the company’s last earnings conference call, Mayer said her primary goals for Yahoo included an improved user interface, increased international reach, and broader demographics. Throughout the past three months, Yahoo did make good in several of those areas; the company unveiled a more personal, interactive version of its homepage in February, it announced a non-exclusive display partnership with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), and it acquired four mobile start-ups — Snip.it, Alike, Jybe, and Summly — in order to build a stronger presence on mobile platforms.

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