Yahoo sees revenue climb this year, but long road ahead

Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:55pm EST
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By Alexei Oreskovic

(Reuters) - Yahoo Inc forecast a modest uptick in revenue for the current year as it revamps its family of websites but Chief Executive Marissa Mayer warned it would be a long journey to revive the Internet company's fortunes.

In Yahoo's first financial outlook since Mayer became CEO in July, the company outlined a plan to trigger a "chain reaction of growth" by overhauling a dozen of its online services to increase the amount of time users spent on its websites.

It also pointed to strength in its search advertising business and progress made in improving its internal operations.

Yahoo's shares were 3 percent higher in after hours trade after the revenue projection was disclosed during an analysts conference call, shedding some ground after earlier rising as much as 4.5 percent.

But weakness in Yahoo's display ad business, which accounts for roughly 40 percent of the company's total revenue, caught some analysts by surprise.

"While the road to growth is certain, it will not be immediate," said Mayer, a former Google Inc executive and Yahoo's third full-time CEO since September 2011.

Yahoo said that revenue, excluding fees it pays to partner websites, will range between $4.5 billion and $4.6 billion in 2013, implying an annual growth rate of 0.7 percent to 3 percent.

Finance Chief Ken Goldman also warned investors to expect "an investment phase" in the first half of the year, which he said would impact profit margins.   Continued...

A Yahoo logo is pictured in Rolle, 30 km (19 miles) east of Geneva in this file photo taken December 12, 2012. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/Files