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Businesses Yahoo!

Yahoo First Quarter Results: Revenue Dips Slightly, Profits Increase 84

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the turning-around-very-slowly dept.
New submitter dolilmao was the first with the news of Yahoo's first quarter results. From Techcrunch: "Yahoo just released its earnings report for the first quarter of 2013, with better-than-expected (non-GAAP) earnings of $420 million, or 38 cents per share. Revenue (excluding traffic acquisition costs) was flat compared to last year, at $1.07 billion. Analysts has predicted that the company would report revenue of $1.1 billion and 24 cents EPS. Wall Street normally evaluates Yahoo on an ex-TAC basis — including traffic acquisition costs, revenue was $1.14 billion, down 7 percent from last year."
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Yahoo First Quarter Results: Revenue Dips Slightly, Profits Increase

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    What time since ~2000 has Yahoo been a relevant technology company? </troll>
    • by micheas (231635)

      What time since ~2000 has Yahoo been a relevant technology company? </troll>

      As recently as 2010 I used YUI a fair bit.

    • Re:news for nerds? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MrEricSir (398214) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @10:23PM (#43469113) Homepage

      What time since ~2000 has Yahoo been a relevant technology company?

      That's actually a good question. I tend to see Yahoo more as a holding company than an R&D company, much like IAC/InterActive (owner of Ask.com, Vimeo, OKCupid, etc.) Seems to me the problem is with expectations; investors want Yahoo to be Google, but that's fundamentally not who they are, were, or ever will be.

  • by danbuter (2019760) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @09:20PM (#43468749)
    If revenue is down, but profits are up, I'm betting a bunch of the long-term employees were fired, as they were the most expensive. While this will help Yahoo's short-term outlook, a few years down the road will be really bad for them.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      You're probably right. I like yahoo.(not the reason I am posting anon). But someone said they hired a slash and burn CEO for short term stock price gains. This is just heresay though(which is why I am posting anon). Anyone else know more about the CEO?
      • Non-GAAP numbers (Score:5, Informative)

        by Hadlock (143607) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @10:13PM (#43469051) Homepage Journal

        Hey guys, I did my own non-GAAP numbers for my income, and I made a net profit of $23 billion dollars last year! And I can prove it, I used Enron's old accountants to do it!
         
        Non-GAAP means nothing. GAAP stands for Generally Accepted Accounting Principals. You're only allowed to report taxes/earnings etc using GAAP. Using GAAP means you followed the rules, and conversely non-GAAP quite literally means you ignored all of the rules and made up your own. Really.
         
        To put it another way, GAAP is to professional accountants as ITEF's RFC is to networking engineers.
         
        Always ignore non-GAAP numbers, because it's how marketing drones convince dumb journalists (or worse, Slashdot editors) to publish fake, reverse FUD.
         
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generally_accepted_accounting_principles [wikipedia.org]
         
        Always wait for the quarterly earnings report, THAT is required by law to use GAAP.

        • Hey guys, I did my own non-GAAP numbers for my income, and I made a net profit of $23 billion dollars last year! And I can prove it, I used Enron's old accountants to do it!

          To quote "Non-GAAP Net earnings is defined as Net earnings excluding certain gains, losses, expenses, and their related tax effects, that we do not believe are indicative of our ongoing results and further adjusted to exclude stock based compensation expense and its related tax effects.

          Non-GAAP Operating income is defined as Income from operations excluding certain gains, losses, and expenses that we do not believe are indicative of our ongoing operating results and further adjusted to exclude stock based c

      • by yuhong (1378501)

        Marissa Mayer came from Google and I think did some major clean up of Yahoo, including the culture for example.

    • by schnell (163007) <`ten.llenhcs' `ta' `em'> on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @09:30PM (#43468799) Homepage

      I'm betting a bunch of the long-term employees were fired, as they were the most expensive ... a few years down the road will be really bad for them.

      Pro Tip: the employees who have been at your company the longest are not necessarily your best

      .

      I think the value of long-term employees often depends very heavily on your corporate culture. In the startups (or startup culture) businesses I have worked at, the longest-tenured employees have been the most valuable due to their tribal knowledge. In older, more bureaucratic companies where I have worked, the long-timers are usually the biggest obstacle to getting things done. Your mileage may vary, of course, but I wonder which category of corporate culture Yahoo! fits into?

      • The current (new) CEO did a major housecleaning.
        Not just people, I believe some other baggage was dumped.

        As for start up culture, I think yahoo lost that a while ago. Google killed it if nothing else.
      • by papasui (567265)
        True not all long-term employees are worth a damn. I'll counter your argument however that a lot of new people seem to wash out in the first 6 months at my place of work (17k employees). That's a big problem for us because in my field I expect approximately a 1 year ramp up for even the top notch talent, so if they quit or get fired before then we got 0 out of them. I suppose my case might be an outlier, but we have a pretty good reason for paying our proven talent well.
        • True not all long-term employees are worth a damn. I'll counter your argument however that a lot of new people seem to wash out in the first 6 months at my place of work (17k employees). That's a big problem for us because in my field I expect approximately a 1 year ramp up for even the top notch talent, so if they quit or get fired before then we got 0 out of them. I suppose my case might be an outlier, but we have a pretty good reason for paying our proven talent well.

          I've seen that happened at many large companies. The net result if that "senior/principal" titles are the most common ones across the orgs ... because they are the ones that stay (or cannot leave). Those that stayed because they believed in something in the org, and who know their sh*t, those are extremelly valuable seniors. But those who stayed because they couldn't cut it in the "outside" world, or because the thrived/were the cause of young talent GTFO, those are like barnacles clinging to your ship's hu

      • by shaitand (626655) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @09:57PM (#43468967) Journal
        That's beside the point. Nobody who sees you slash and burn your tenured staff is going to have any loyalty to the company.

        This is the kind of shit that breeds every man for himself and short term thinking. How much something counts is only about how much it appears to count. Jump to the greener pasture on the other side at the first instant. Etc. Etc. It's actually bad for morale and bad for the company. Management and staff take an aggressive and hostile view of one another.

        Makes for a shitty place to work and the last place anyone is going to innovate, ever.
        • by ShanghaiBill (739463) * on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @10:58PM (#43469223)

          Nobody who sees you slash and burn your tenured staff is going to have any loyalty to the company.

          My experience is that employees know damn well who the deadwood are, and clearing them out provides a boost to morale. There is no "tenure" at technology companies, and very few tech workers have any delusional expectations about lifetime employment.

          • If management is so brilliant it can identify dead wood when it is forced to, why couldn't it identify dead wood before hiring them or remove them before intense negative financial pressure requires them to do so?

            Might not the /appearance/ of "removing dead wood" be the actual intent with management essentially guessing who can be replaced or not and those who hang around being forced to do more work for the same pay but "morale improves" because they are happy they have a job? And since people temporarily

            • by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday April 17, 2013 @12:18AM (#43469565)

              If management is so brilliant it can identify dead wood when it is forced to, why couldn't it identify dead wood before hiring them or remove them before intense negative financial pressure requires them to do so?

              Have you ever worked at a company in your life?

              Everyone knows who the dead wood is at a company. It doesn't take brilliance, it merely means not being blind and deaf!

              The reason unproductive people can stay on so long is that managers HATE firing people, and for them it's far easier done only under duress and in large numbers. Also often the unproductive are personal friends of powerful people, and so there really has to be substantial pressure before they go.

              • This is absolutely true. Firing an individual employee can be fraught with troublesome legal consequences for the firm. The terminated person can challenge the termination for a number of different reasons that are protected by federal law (age > 40, race, sex, religion, etc). Regardless of the merits of the case it becomes an expensive and unpleasant situation with the company's name being dragged through the mud. So I wouldn't be surprised if companies used economic downturns to "clean house" of pe
              • Like I said in the comment: if management is so poor that they cannot do their job to motivate people and then cannot do their job to fire those people they fail to motivate then how can we blame those who are (mis)managed as "dead wood"? Clearly the layoffs are not coming from the middle managers who didn't do their job in the first place but from some "executive level" efficiency expert.

                At Juniper (following Microsoft) they opted for a "bottom 20%" policy of requiring that 20% of every group be identified

            • by yuhong (1378501)

              In case of Yahoo, the management changed. Marissa Mayer was hired from Google.

            • If management is so brilliant it can identify dead wood when it is forced to, why couldn't it identify dead wood before hiring them or remove them before intense negative financial pressure requires them to do so?

              Often, there are internal pressures not to do so because middle management has a poor incentive structure. When the company is doing okay, if you have a couple of non-productive people in your team then you still get the prestige for having n people reporting to you. If you could fire them with no loss in productivity, then you'd have n-2 people reporting to you, which effectively means that you become more junior. As there is no loss of productivity, you couldn't justify two new hires and so your team'

            • If management is so brilliant it can identify dead wood when it is forced to, why couldn't it identify dead wood before hiring them or remove them before intense negative financial pressure requires them to do so?

              Because you can only determine the dead wood only after they have actively begin to perform or under perform at the work's premises. It is a process that take months, if not years (for you cannot typically and reasonably fire someone for initial failings that could be naturally attributed to lack of company-specific experience.) That is, you have to wait it out.

              By the time you identify an underperformer, you realize that person has already developed some type of company-specific knowledge, with potential

          • by shaitand (626655) on Wednesday April 17, 2013 @01:10AM (#43469749) Journal
            "There is no "tenure" at technology companies, and very few tech workers have any delusional expectations about lifetime employment."

            Only because the thinking above is pretty rampant in tech. Everyone is constantly shifting positions. By the time someone knows the lay of the land they are 5mins away from going out the door either voluntarily or not.

            The industry pushes this. Things like token raises of a few percent a year. Salary adjustments for positions that only get applied to new hires. Ridiculous advancement treadmills while new hires with great resume building and interviewing skills bypass them completely. It all amounts to a company constantly bearing the expense of training new staff and while constantly watching the people with a clue walk out the door.
          • by Ryanrule (1657199)

            your experience is bad, and you should feel bad.

        • That's beside the point. Nobody who sees you slash and burn your tenured staff is going to have any loyalty to the company.

          Depends. I would developed (and I have had developed) loyalty for management willing to slash and burn tenure staff that is innefectual. Normal folks with a modicum of work ethics do not resent slash and burn techniques if they are aimed at the right target. They do resent it when it is used indiscriminately.

          This is the kind of shit that breeds every man for himself and short term thinking.

          Depends. If the company is plagued by inneffectual people, keeping them around breeds the "every man for himself" ethos you are referring to. It cuts both ways, and it is contextual. Let's not pretend

          • by shaitand (626655)
            "Normal folks with a modicum of work ethics do not resent slash and burn techniques if they are aimed at the right target."

            Slash and burn techniques aren't normally aimed at the useless. They are normally aimed at those who have been around long enough to have earned disproportionate salaries. These people have passed up better paying positions and have stuck around through the challenges that come with the hard times. They've chosen not to walk away when the opportunity arose and to help to build something
      • by Ryanrule (1657199)

        pro fucking tip you moron, fire the bad people in the first place.

      • I think the value of long-term employees often depends very heavily on your corporate culture. In the startups (or startup culture) businesses I have worked at, the longest-tenured employees have been the most valuable due to their tribal knowledge. In older, more bureaucratic companies where I have worked, the long-timers are usually the biggest obstacle to getting things done. Your mileage may vary, of course, but I wonder which category of corporate culture Yahoo! fits into?

        I agree with your statement, but I wonder why. Are they just fed with corporate BS and don't care or is it the dead sea effect?

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Yes with chat gone, the need for looking up ip's at the request of LEO is down. Thats a one time wage drop of security cleared staff.
    • by tuppe666 (904118) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @09:41PM (#43468867)

      If you scan through the Income statement, and look through its operating expenses the big change is a decrease in "Traffic Acquisition Cost" which explains most of the decrease in expenses about 80% of it (and the decrease in revenue too). It looks like they cut back on deals that were costing more than the revenue they were getting (or focuses on more profitable traffic etc).

    • by Ryanrule (1657199)

      No shit. They put the airhead designer in as ceo to make it look pretty to SELL THE COMPANY, not make it better.

    • If revenue is down, but profits are up, I'm betting a bunch of the long-term employees were fired, as they were the most expensive. While this will help Yahoo's short-term outlook, a few years down the road will be really bad for them.

      This will be true only if said long-term, expensive employees were actually that valuable. Hint: in many companies, that is not the case.

    • by operagost (62405)
      Actually, I bet many of them QUIT because they were working remotely and faced two hour commutes under the new policy.
  • by girlinatrainingbra (2738457) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @09:30PM (#43468803)
    non-GAAP? You mean numbers that do not use GAAP = "Generally accepted accounting principles" [wikipedia.org]? So if you're not using "generally accepted accounting principles", then the accounting principles you're using are generally not accepted. So you're using some weird other way of crunching the numbers to massage them into sounding better.
    .
    Best to have real results that actually do follow GAAP. Those numbers would have to follow certain guidelines of Standard Accounting Practice [wikipedia.org]:
    Standard accounting practices require publicly traded companies to follow certain accounting rules when presenting financial statements so that the readers of the statements can easily compare different companies. Private companies are also often required by banks and shareholders, for example, to present information according to their specified rules. [emphasis from wikipedia article, not my bold-facing here :) ]

    So instead of standard practices dictated by SEC rules, they sprinkled some fairy-dust and powdered-unicorn horns and some shredded nauga-hide on their statements and came up with a magical "with better-than-expected (non-GAAP) earnings of $420 million, or 38 cents per share". La-de-da-di-do! Magic. Get back to me with some real numbers like you're supposed to do as a publicly traded company. Isn't this somehow against SEC regulations? Jus' wonderin'...

    • Read the article.
      GAAP revenue of 186 million, earnings per share $0.35
      They're just trying to put on the best show.
      The comparison was based on the previous year's non-GAAP.

      Everything to keep the SEC happy!
    • by khallow (566160)
      You know that crazy person that occasionally uses your Slashdot account? Cut their fingers off. When I read these rational and interesting posts, my head explodes. It's hard to clean from the ceiling; I have to grow a new head; and the natives find it disconcerting.
      br. When I saw the phrase "non-GAAP" I knew it was bullshit. It's not that hard to do GAAP accounting. It's not that hard to lie using GAAP accounting. So when someone can't be bothered to do it, that's a huge red flag for me. Not that I'd sink
      • re: You know that crazy person that occasionally uses your Slashdot account? Cut their fingers off. When I read these rational and interesting posts, my head explodes.
        .
        ??? IDKWYTA: I Don't Know What You're Talking About... I'm always me. :>)
        I didn't even know what the acronym G.A.A.P. stood for before this eveninig until I searched for it on wikipedia after seeing it on this /.post about yahoo (as is my usual thing to do whenever I see a word or phrase which I don't know). Seeing the definition made
        • by Kelbear (870538)

          IAACPA.

          Announcing Non-GAAP numbers isn't unusual. It's important to note that this isn't their 10-Q quarterly filing, but simply an 8-K earnings release. Just a communication with the public rather than an official report, and the role of the auditor with respect to these earnings releases is to simply ensure that management can show how the figures shown can be traced back to the records from which they produce the quarterly filing. However it should be noted that quarterly reports are only /reviewed/ by a

          • Wow! Thanks, CPA Kelbear, for the detailed and thoughtful reply. I have a question re your statement :"Management should always provide an explanation of how these figures were derived so that they can be reconciled back to GAAP figures or else they have no meaning." Is there any consistency to the type of non-GAAP figures given out by the same company YYY over different quarters, or are they likely to vary the different ways to be non-generally-accepted so as to optimize and optimally positively spin ea
            • by Kelbear (870538)

              Non-GAAP disclosure fall under Regulation G: http://www.sec.gov/rules/final/33-8176.htm [sec.gov]

              There are no hard and fast rules about consistency for Non-GAAP presentation. However, a company cannot play games claiming that a loss they're backing out is non-recurring, when in fact, it is recurring. In such a case, that Non-GAAP presentation is not clarifying results for the investor, but is actively misleading the investor, and the SEC will nail that company to the wall for it when they see the same "non-recurring"

    • they sprinkled some fairy-dust and powdered-unicorn horns and some shredded nauga-hide on their statements and came up with a magical "with better-than-expected (non-GAAP) earnings of $420 million, or 38 cents per share".

      I don't think your not being fair to Yahoo, many (most) companies resort to "window dressing" to make figures look more attractive, but GAAP is more useful for *comparing companies* (but poor at comparing itself...to itself). In this instance the non-GAAP results discount gains and losses that aren't really part of their core business (and stock based compensation expense). In fact Google did the same last quarter...it took out things like 500Million one off restructuring of Motorola, because it makes no se

    • Tech companies regularly use both GAAP and non-GAAP in their statements, and for good reason, so non-GAAP should not immediately be dismissed.

      GAAP is very much the bottom line - it's damn near every penny spent and earned accounted for in the final income statements. Importantly, this includes both the core business and one-off gains/losses such as settlements, restructuring costs, and write-downs. This is very important for investors as it means a company can't simply hide certain types of charges, so if a

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Wall Street normally evaluates Yahoo on an ex-TAC basis — including traffic acquisition costs,

    TAC is Traffic Acquisition Cost. [investopedia.com]

    "ex-TAC basis — including traffic acquisition costs," makes no damn sense to me. They are evaluating Yahoo! ex Traffic Cost basis and including it back in? So, they're going to subtract one and add 1 back in?

    But hey, we're talking Wall Street here. It's not like they value companies and their earnings like normal business people.

    Watch out for the MBAs and the CFAs. And if someone has both, they are the spawn of Satan and run away! They are a true Master of Lies!!

    • But also amazing Slashdot rarely gets Insiders to set records straight.

    • by shaitand (626655)
      In all fairness to wallstreet. Normal valuations do fail to account for the fact that any company is likely trying to increase growth rather than profit since growth is tax free while profit is tax laden.

      Much better to reinvest every penny before it crosses from the gross to net column.
  • It buys other companies to graft onto itself to give its corpse the semblance of life...

  • by Y-Crate (540566) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @10:21PM (#43469105)

    But that would entail making improvements.

    I haven't seen any since 2006.

  • Yahoo needs to succeed - Google needs competition, especially since it owns so much internet real estate. Put another way, users need alternatives to Google so that it doesn't become a single, monolithic central clearing house for just about everything you do in your life.

  • better-than-expected (non-GAAP) earnings of $420 million, or 38 cents per share.

    Oh, so it's cool to treat non GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) as hard facts now? Awesome, then I'm declaring $5 billion in earnings this day alone. See? I wrote $5 billion on this post-it note, so it must be true! I'll wait until Yahoo releases the numbers that came from actual accounting work, and not the CEO playing around in excel.

    • Can you loan me you $5B post it note? If you do I'll give you a post-it note for $10B in return. Your investment genius will double your worth and we both report billions in profit!

  • by bayankaran (446245) on Wednesday April 17, 2013 @12:03AM (#43469487) Homepage
    Yahoo went dead the moment they appointed a clueless Hollywood hack Terry Semel as CEO. He should not be hired to run even a grocery store. Then they acquired broadcast.com (I still don't know what the hell that website/service performed) which made a few insiders insanely rich. The new acquisition of the news reading app by Marissa Mayer shows the old culture is still intact. Jerry Yang and David Filo are overrated...they are not Sergey Brin or Larry Page.

    (Generally people are aware of public sector corruption, but private sector all over the world is equally corrupt.)

    Marissa Mayer made a huge miscalculation by taking the Yahoo CEO position. This is like Sarah Palin running against Obama. Palin is clever. Marissa Mayer is not.
    • by breeze95 (880714)

      Yahoo went dead the moment they appointed a clueless Hollywood hack Terry Semel as CEO. He should not be hired to run even a grocery store. Then they acquired broadcast.com (I still don't know what the hell that website/service performed) which made a few insiders insanely rich. The new acquisition of the news reading app by Marissa Mayer shows the old culture is still intact. Jerry Yang and David Filo are overrated...they are not Sergey Brin or Larry Page. (Generally people are aware of public sector corruption, but private sector all over the world is equally corrupt.) Marissa Mayer made a huge miscalculation by taking the Yahoo CEO position. This is like Sarah Palin running against Obama. Palin is clever. Marissa Mayer is not.

      She absolutely did the right thing by becoming Yahoo's CEO. It's not like CEO positions for Fortune 500 companies open up every day and Yahoo is still one of the most recognized brands on the planet. So, when you get an opportunity to be a Fortune 500 CEO you take it, especially considering she had reached the ceiling at Google.

  • The Percentage [percentage...ulator.com] of yahoo earning is very high, yahoo mail is reliable and does not always have outdages due to their Htaccess security [htaccessredirect301.com], i think this contribute to their financial success on this day.

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