Yahoo Earnings Beat; Revenue Outlook Is Light

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Yahoo reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that topped expectations, but its first-quarter revenue guidance was a bit lower than analyst estimates. The stock remained higher after-hours as Wall Street cheered the search giant's revenue growth.

"In 2012, Yahoo exhibited revenue growth for the first time in 4 years, with revenue up 2 percent year-over-year," Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said in the earnings statement. "During the quarter we made progress by growing our executive team, signing key partnerships including those with NBC Sports and CBS Television, and launching terrific mobile experiences for Yahoo Mail and Flickr. At the same time, we achieved tremendous internal transformation in the culture, energy and execution of the company."

Yahoo Q4 EPS $0.32 vs. $0.28

This marked the first full quarter with Mayer at the helm. She was hired away from Google last July to revive Yahoo's revenue growth.

For the first quarter, Yahoo expects revenue to be $1.07 billion to $1.1 billion, excluding traffic acquisition costs, below Street forecasts for $1.12 billion. On the conference call, Yahoo's CFO said the company believes it can accelerate revenue growth.

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Fourth-quarter net income fell to $272.3 million, or 23 cents per share, from $295.6 million, or 24 cents a share a year earlier.

The results included costs associated with Yahoo's Korea business and its closure, the sale of Alibaba shares. as well as restructuring charges.

Excluding items, Yahoo earnings rose to 32 cents a share from 24 cents a share in the year-earlier period.

Revenue increased 4.4 percent to $1.22 billion from $1.17 billion a year ago.

Wall Street had expected Yahoo to report earnings excluding items of 28 cents a share on $1.21 billion in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters consensus estimates.

Paid clicks rose 11 percent from a year ago, while the price per click increased 1 percent.

The company ended the quarter with $6 billion in cash and cash equivalents on hand, compared to $2.5 billion in the 2011 quarter.

During the quarter, Yahoo repurchased 80 million shares for $1.5 billion.