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Yahoo boosts revenue forecast
Thursday, April 11 2002
by Sheila McDonald

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Yahoo on Wednesday boosted its forecast for full year revenues by more than 15 percent, and said it had decreased its dependency on on-line ads for income.

Excluding charges, the Internet portal reported first-quarter income on a GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) basis of USD0.02 per share diluted, compared to a loss of USD0.02 per share for the same period last year. But the company also recorded a non-cash charge of more than USD64 million during the quarter in connection with a change in accounting practices. Including that charge, the company reported a net loss for the fiscal first quarter of USD0.09 per share, or USD53.6 million. Net revenues for the first quarter totalled USD192.7 million, up around 7 percent from the same period last year.

The best news from the company was the upgrade in its outlook for the current year. Yahoo said that its Q2 revenue would be between USD205 million and USD225 million, and it increased its full-year revenue projections to between USD870 million and USD910 million. Those figures represent a jump of more than 15 percent in the full-year revenue projections the company published in January.

Speaking in a conference call with analysts, chief financial officer Susan Decker said the company had changed its business model significantly over the past 18 months. While the company once gained around 80 percent of its revenues from on-line ads, Decker noted that the company now gets more than a third of its revenues from fees connected to services like paid searches, personals notices and job listings. The company's acquisition and integration of the career portal HotJobs is a key plank in its strategy to continue driving these new revenues.

"We've become much less dependent on any one form of monetisation, moving from a position where these new lines of business represented just 10 percent of revenue in the year 2000 to the point where they contribute nearly 40 percent today," Decker said.

International operations did not perform well for the company during the quarter, with revenue down 22 percent to USD26 million. Decker said the economic pressures that burdened its US business all last year took effect later in international markets, but noted that the company still believes its revenue is stabilising abroad. The company aims to cut its international loss by half this year, she said.

Terry Semel, who is now approaching his one-year mark as Yahoo's CEO, described the company's new broadband access initiatives for the US, which will be ready during the second and third quarters this year. Working with US firm SBC Communications, Yahoo will offer co-branded dial-up and high-speed DSL Internet access services. This will bring Yahoo important new revenues from monthly subscription fees, he said.

Yahoo recorded 237 million unique users during March 2002, up from 192 million in March 2001, with 98 million active registered members and more than 1.6 billion page views a day. According to Nielsen//Netratings Yahoo is the number one Internet property in territories including Ireland and Japan and reaches around 52 percent of the world's total 'at home' Internet population.

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