Yee-haw! Web portal giant’s first quarter profits double

8 Apr 2004

Internet search and media giant Yahoo! has reported more than double net profits for the first quarter to reach US$101m. Analysts view the results as a sign of a recovery in the traditional online and web-search advertising industry.

Yahoo also unveiled a two-for-one stock split for its shares, which reached a high in after-hours trading that hasn’t been seen since November 2000.

Yahoo earned first quarter net profits of US$101m, or 14 per cents a share, compared with net profits of US$47m last year.

Revenue grew to US$550m from US$283m last year, bolstered by Yahoo’s acquisition in October of web-search advertising provider Overture, which is in the process of creating over 250 jobs in Dublin’s East Point Business Park.

The results mark the ninth straight quarter of year-on-year revenue growth at Yahoo, which along with trading portal eBay, has emerged as a bellwether stock for the internet sector.

Yahoo has forecast revenue of US$580m to US$615m for the current second quarter ending 30 June. The company said it is also targeting full year revenue of US$2.4bn to US$2.5bn, higher than analysts’ estimates of US$2.2bn.

“Yahoo is off to a great start in 2004. Our growth is the result of very impressive performance from our ongoing operations, leveraged further by recent acquisitions,” said Susan Decker, chief financial officer at Yahoo. “Looking forward, we are focused on making the appropriate investments and capital allocation decisions to help ensure sustainable, long-term growth.”

By John Kennedy