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Yahoo’s revenue up 5.7% in Q4 2016; Verizon deal delayed

Internet and media company Yahoo reported a revenue of $1.47 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016, up 5.7% from $1.27 billion in the same quarter last year. Interestingly, Yahoo, which was expected to close the Verizon deal in the first quarter of 2017, now mentions that the transaction is expected to close in Q2 instead.

Note that Yahoo’s Verizon deal has come under scrutiny after Yahoo revealed two data breaches after the deal was confirmed. The first breach likely took place in August 2013, and the second in 2014, both together compromising the data of over 1.5 billion user accounts (not unique). During the first disclosed data breach, Verizon had said that it had a ‘reasonable basis’ to believe the incident represented a material impact that could allow it to withdraw from the $4.8 billion deal. Notably, Verizon was looking to get a $1 billion discount on the Yahoo deal, although this was not confirmed by either party.

Given these concerns, the growth rate will be far more convincing if Yahoo is able to maintain it over the next few quarters. Even more glaringly, these issues have caused doubt over Verizon’s acquisition of Yahoo.

Overall page views to Yahoo’s core verticals also dropped after the company revealed the 2nd hack on the 14th of December. While the company attribute the drop in usage due to the holiday season, it has failed to pick up lost steam post the holiday season, other than in the email category. Note that after the first hack the company reported an uptake in page views on its properties, likely as a result of users logging in to check if they were hacked, and/or to migrate to other services.

Financials

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Yahoo reported a net revenue of $1.469 billion for the quarter ended December 2016, up from $1.27 billion in the same quarter last year. However, this includes $302 million attributable to the change in revenues presentation.

– Net earnings at the company stood at $162 million compared to the net loss of $4.4 billion in the same period last year. Note that last year included a $4.5 billion goodwill impairment charge, leading to negative revenues.

– At the end of the fourth quarter, Yahoo had cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities worth $7.9 billion compared to $6.8 billion in Q4’FY15, an increase of nearly $1 billion.

– Revenue from the mobile, video, native and social (MAVENs) business stood at $590 million, an increase of 25% from $472 million in the same quarter last year.

– Mobile revenues came in at $459 million, a rise of 57.7% from $291million in the same quarter last year.

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Image source: Flickr user Scott Schiller under CC BY 2.0

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