Sales of Alibaba shares rocket Yahoo!’s Q3 profit to US$6.77bn

22 Oct 2014

Yahoo!'s headquarters in Sunnyvale, California

A US$6.3bn gain from the sale of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd shares last month boosted internet company Yahoo!’s third-quarter profit to US$6.77bn from US$297m in the year-ago quarter.

Strong growth in Yahoo!’s new areas of investment – mobile, social, native and video – gave the company a 1pc lift in third-quarter revenue to US$1.09bn, up from US$1.08bn in the same period last year.

Earnings per share totalled US$0.52, marking an increase of more than 50pc over US$0.34 from the year-ago quarter.

Search advertising revenue jumped 6pc from US$426m in the third quarter of 2013 to US$450m, excluding traffic costs.

Display ads revenue, however, dropped by the same percentage, from US$421m to US$396m, excluding traffic costs.

Revenue from mobile ads amounted to US$200m, or about 17pc of Yahoo!’s third-quarter sales.

“We have invested deeply in mobile and we are seeing those investments pay off,” said Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!

“Not only are our mobile products attracting praise and engagement from users and industry awards, they are generating meaningful revenue for Yahoo!”

CFO Ken Goldman said he is pleased with the company’s third-quarter performance.

“We ended the quarter with over US$12bn in cash and marketable securities following the sale of 140m shares of Alibaba stock in the IPO, which resulted in US$9.4bn in pre-tax proceeds,” Goldman said.

“In Q3 and Q4 to date, we have bought back approximately US$1.6bn of our stock. Of this amount, we have returned US$1.4bn to shareholders as a part of our commitment to return at least half of the after-tax IPO proceeds.

“We are hopeful that we will finish the year strong, and we believe that the company is well positioned for improved performance in 2015,” Goldman added.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic