Yandex, the Russian-based Internet goliath, reported revenues that increased by 21 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, a solid performance but one that fell short of what Wall Street analysts had projected.
It appears that the big issue may have been Russia’s troubled ruble. With the results coming before the U.S. markets opened today, and a conference call with analysts and reporters scheduled for later today, it will be interesting to see how forgiving investors are.
“The company performed well in the fourth quarter and demonstrated another full year of excellent results, despite the difficult macroeconomic environment,” said Arkady Volozh, chief executive of Yandex, in a press release. “Although we face challenging economic headwinds, including substantial currency fluctuations, we are managing Yandex for the long term.”
Analysts had projected revenues of 14.74 billion rubles, but Yandex reported revenues of 14.667 billion rubles (USD $260.7 million) for the three months ending in December.
That was up from the 12.1 billion rubles (at the time valued at USD $369.3 million) the company reported in the same quarter a year ago.
You can see just how extreme the currency fluctuation has been. Despite reporting more revenue in rubles this quarter, the equivalent in U.S. dollars is significantly lower.
Profits for the quarter were 4.5 billion rubles (USD $79.6 million), an increase of 14 percent from a year ago when the company report profits of 3.3 billion rubles. But again, at the time, those profits last year were valued at USD $102.2 million.
Analysts will no doubt be listening for how the company may try to hedge against such currency fluctuations and its strategy for diversifying its business, perhaps to regions where the currency is more stable.
Earlier today, Yandex announced it was filing an antitrust complaint against Google over the way it forces its own services on Android devices. It’s currently awaiting the official opening of the case, which was filed with the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) of Russia.