Yahoo beats Wall Street view, sees Verizon deal closing in second quarter

Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:28pm EST
 
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By Anya George Tharakan

(Reuters) - Yahoo Inc on Monday reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue, and said the sale of its core internet business to Verizon Communications Inc should be completed in the second quarter, allaying some investor concerns that the deal might collapse.

The $4.8 billion Verizon transaction had originally been expected to close in the first quarter but was delayed by the disclosure of two major cyber breaches that exposed information from more than a billion Yahoo accounts.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has opened a probe into whether Yahoo's data breaches should have been disclosed sooner to investors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. (on.wsj.com/2kjNMFd).

Yahoo said Monday that it has spent approximately $10 million related to a 2014 security breach announced in September and a 2013 breach announced in December.

Operating results for the fourth quarter, featuring a 15 percent gain in revenue from a year ago, appeared to provide some belated vindication of embattled Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's strategy. The company's shares rose 1.2 percent to $42.90 in heavy after-market trading.

Revenue from Mavens - the mobile, video, native and social advertising units that Mayer has long touted as key emerging businesses - rose 25 percent to $590 million.

Gross search revenue fell 6 percent to $821 million as Yahoo struggled to win back market share from bigger rivals such as Alphabet Inc's Google.

Cantor Fitzgerald Analyst Youssef Squali said the report shows Yahoo is capable of increasing efficiency but cautioned that search was on the decline and display would be in decline if the numbers were crunched differently.   Continued...

 
A photo illustration shows a Yahoo logo on a smartphone in front of a displayed cyber code and keyboard on December 15, 2016. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Illustration