Yahoo announced its first quarter earnings today, revealing revenue of $1.04 billion (minus traffic acquisition costs) and earnings per share (non-GAAP EPS) of $0.15.
Analysts had expected EPS of $0.18 on revenue of $1.06 billion.
Though earnings and revenue disappointed, the company’s mobile growth seems promising. In 2014 mobile earned the company $1.26 billion. This quarter, mobile is up year-over-year.
“Our mobile GAAP revenue reached $234 million in Q1, growing 61% year-over-year,” said chief executive Marissa Mayer. However, mobile revenues are down from the $254 million it earned fourth quarter of last year.
Last quarter, Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer announced plans to turn the company’s $40 billion worth of Alibaba stock into a tax-free spin-off. Now investors want to know how a post-Alibaba-supported Yahoo will look.
Earlier this month, Yahoo revised a six-year agreement with Microsoft, enabling it to monetize 49 percent of its search traffic using something other than Bing’s ad platform. Plus, Microsoft will have to handle all ad sales delivered by its Bing Ads Platform, which may allow Yahoo to cut costs.
It’s clear that Mayer is gunning for search. In November, Yahoo entered into a five-year agreement with Mozilla to be Firefox’s default browser, displacing Google. So far, the push seems to be paying off: Revenue from search was up 20 percent year-over-year.
In addition to search, Yahoo is concerned with mobile, video, native advertising, and social — an area of focus Mayer calls MaVeNS. This part of the company has been slow to pick up, though Mayer has been investing in building it out. Last year the company acquired mobile analytics firm Flurry and video advertising platform Brightroll to plump up its advertising revenues.
According to Q1 results, MaVeNS earned $363 million in early 2015, up from $230 million in the first quarter for 2014.
Despite pick-up on MaVeNS, Yahoos revenues overall are bleak, illustrating a less than graceful transition away from some of its traditional sources of revenue. Desktop related revenue, for example, is on the decline — a trend that continues from quarters past. Display revenues in particular are down seven percent year-over-year on an ex-TAC basis. Yahoo also failed (again) to disclose metrics for Tumblr, the social blogging platform the company acquired in 2013.
Today, Yahoo needed to show investors that the company can continue its steady growth, but if stock prices are any indication, it did not succeed. YHOO is down two percent in after-hours trading as of this writing.
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