Features

Yahoo’s profit tops estimate

Michael Liedtke The Associated Press
Thursday October 10, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO — Yahoo Inc. said Wednesday its financial recovery picked up steam in the third quarter as its popular Web site persuaded more visitors to pay for online services. 

The Sunnyvale-based company earned $28.9 million, or 5 cents per share, in the three months ended in September, reversing a loss of $24.1 million, or 4 cents per share, at the same time last year. 

The results were a penny better than the consensus estimate among analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call. 

Yahoo’s third-quarter revenue totaled $248.8 million, a 50 percent improvement from last year. Excluding the boost that the company received from a jobs listing site acquired earlier this year, Yahoo said its third-quarter revenue rose 36 percent. 

One-third of Yahoo’s third-quarter revenue came from subscriptions and its employment listings service, HotJobs, an encouraging sign for a management team trying to make the company less dependent on advertising. 

The $83.1 million that Yahoo collected from fees and listings during the third quarter more than doubled from a year ago. Subscriptions accounted for about 66 percent of that gain, Yahoo said. The company ended the quarter with more than 1.5 million subscribers. 

“It is clear Yahoo is benefiting from the strategy and plan we laid down nearly a year ago and that our efforts to position the company for sustainable, profitable growth are paying off,” said Terry Semel, who became the company’s chief executive last year. 

Staggered by the dot-com meltdown that obliterated online advertising, Yahoo had suffered six consecutive quarterly losses before registering a profit during the spring. 

The turnaround efforts still haven’t won back investors who once made Yahoo one of Wall Street’s hottest stocks.