Yahoo reported higher first-quarter results, led by expansion in the search market. Total revenues rose 8 percent to USD 1.226 billion, with a 2 percent increase in display to USD 464 million and a 20 percent jump in search to USD 532 million. Yahoo attributed the increase to its search agreement with Mozilla, as well as a 61 percent increase in mobile revenue to USD 234 million. Its search volume also reached a five-year high in the quarter.
Revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs was down slightly to USD 1.043 billion versus USD 1.087 billion a year earlier, and adjusted EBITDA fell to USD 231 million from USD 306 million. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said the figures were in line with expectations, with GAAP revenue growing ahead of revenue ex-TAC and EBITDA. “For the next phase of the transformation, we will focus on accelerating our GAAP revenue growth while managing our margins and costs,” she said.
Net earnings in Q1 totaled USD 21 million or 2 cents a share, down from USD 312 million or 29 cents a share a year ago. The company’s cash position fell to USD 6.9 billion from USD 10.2 billion at the end of 2014, after it spent USD 204 million on repurchasing shares and paid USD 3.3 billion in tax on its sale of shares in Alibaba.
In a conference call on the results, Mayer said the company had hired advisers to look at options for its stake in Yahoo! Japan. It will not be included in the planned spin-off of its stake in Alibaba, Reuters reported. The 35 percent Yahoo Japan stake is worth around USD 9 billion at current market rates. The advisers will help Yahoo “determine the most promising opportunities to maximize value”, the CEO said.