Earnings Preview: Yahoo

Apr.17.12 | About: Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO)

Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) is expected to report Q1 earnings after the market close on Tuesday, April 17, with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET.


The consensus estimate is 17c for EPS and $1.06B for revenue, according to First Call. The whisper number is 18c. Analysts are predicting Yahoo's Q1 earnings and net revenue will be roughly the same as they were at this same time last year. This will be the first earnings call for Scott Thompson, the new CEO, since he's been in the seat for a full quarter -- and since making the deepest cuts to the company's payroll so far in an effort to save about $375M annually. The results for the first three months of the year are expected to show that Yahoo is still being outmaneuvered by Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), as advertisers shift more of their spending to the Web and mobile devices. Some think Thompson might take this opportunity to "kitchen-sink" these results -- to take as many one-time write offs as he can related to the layoffs. From Google's (GOOG) call last week, investors know that their cost-per-clicks were down 12% in the quarter year-over-year, even though paid clicks were up. Investors also know that Yahoo's absolute number of queries dropped in the last quarter, as per a third party study. Put it together and it's likely investors are going to see more weakness from Yahoo search in Q1 -- which has been a trend since Yahoo signed the outsourced deal with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) in 2009. In display, it's likely going to be another quarter of treading water for Yahoo, according to most analysts.

Analyst Views

For Q1, Citigroup is looking for net revenue of $1.08B, operating income of $142M and GAAP EPS of 19c. In terms of the guidance, Citigroup would expect Yahoo to be more conservative than typical, given the newish CEO, Scott Thompson. :theflyon