UPDATE, 3:19 PM: “We’ve achieved much more than many people realize,” CEO Marissa Mayer told investors, including many — led by Starboard Value — who wonder about her company’s prospects now that they can buy their own shares in Alibaba instead of doing so indirectly through Yahoo, a major stock owner.
She noted in a call following Yahoo’s Q3 earnings release that it has repurchased $7.7B worth of its own shares since she took charge in mid 2012. She also defended her high profile hirings (which include Katie Couric, Yahoo’s Global News Anchor) and $1.6B acquisitions of companies led by Tumblr and Flurry. “Everything starts with having the best people,” Mayer says, adding that she will “continue to do thoughtful, appropriate talent acquisitions when that is the right strategy to bring great people to the company.” She also says that her effort to promote “efficiency, effectiveness, and excellence” has resulted in 2,000 “performance related departures,” eight office closures, and sunset of more than 65 products.
PREVIOUS, 1:11 PM: Shares are up about 2.3% after CEO Marissa Mayer reported that the company had “a good, solid third-quarter” including about $200M in revenues from ad sales on mobile devices. Yahoo reported net earnings of $6.8B which includes $6.3B from the sale of some of its stock in Alibaba Group; the company had $297M in the period last year. Revenues at $1.15B are up 1%. The top line beat analyst forecasts for $1.04B. Earnings without the Alibaba sale equaled 52 cents per share exceeding expectations for 30 cents.
Mayer estimates that the company will see more than $1.2B in revenue from mobile this year. “We have invested deeply in mobile and we are seeing those investments pay off,” she says. “Not only are our mobile products attracting praise and engagement from users and industry awards, they are generating meaningful revenue for Yahoo.”
Revenues from display ads, not including traffic acquisition costs, came to $396M, down 6%. The number of ads sold increased 24% vs last year, but the price per ad fell about 24%. Ads from search, though, increased 6% to $450M. Although the number of paid clicks was flat, the price per click rose 17%.