5 Key Quotes from Yahoo! on the Internet Industry

by: David Jackson

Here are five key quotes from Yahoo's (YHOO) conference call:

1. Growth in users and usage

We continue to see strong double-digit user growth and we increased our page views by more than 20% year over year, giving us the opportunity to monetize a large and growing base of high quality, contextually relevant inventory. Our recent investments in search are paying off, with query growth in the U.S. up more than 11% year over year.

2. Revenue growth

Revenue ex-TAC [traffic acquisition costs] was up 8% year over year to $1.35 billion. We delivered $449 million of operating cash flow on a normalized basis, or $427 million including the $22 million of costs related to the Microsoft proposal and other strategic alternatives, related litigation costs, and now settled proxy contest. We feel that our business model is holding up well despite the current economic environment.

3. Impact of a weak economy

...like many companies in our industry, we were affected by the weakness in the overall economy. In some categories, such as CPF and finance, we saw demand for branded display advertising soften and we saw a shift away from branded campaigns towards performance marketing. Because we’ve positioned Yahoo! well in both branding and performance marketing, we were able to continue to grow our display revenue in the quarter. While overall Q2 GAAP revenue was modestly below our outlook’s midpoint, as a result of managing costs our operating cash flow was on target with our outlook.

4. Search

In the second quarter, our query growth rate accelerated from the first quarter rate, allowing us to exceed that goal in the U.S. and meet it on a worldwide basis. In fact, in May and June, Yahoo! gained U.S. query share for two consecutive months for the first time since ComScore began using its current methodology about a year ago... Most users still don’t get what they want on their first search with the current state-of-the-art search algorithms. We think Yahoo! is in a wonderful position to provide an integrated and open experience that goes beyond search to discovering relevant information and quickly completing tasks.

5. Yahoo's ad network strategy

A core part of our strategy is to leverage our leading position in display, owned and operated, by adding high quality affiliates. We are already the number two ad network in the U.S... Fundamentally, we believe publishers want to drive as much long-term value as possible from their sites and are not concerned with whether it comes from search or display advertising. With our broad capabilities in both areas, we can uniquely optimize the value of their inventory using the best ad at any time for the situation, rather than just the best search or the best display ad... while buying search advertising is relatively straightforward today, buying display is just plain hard. Therefore, developing these capabilities for display ads is a prerequisite to enabling efficient buying and selling across both search and display in a platform. Once we’ve made the process of buying and selling display ad inventory as easy as it is in search, then we will be in a position to unify the process of buying and selling ad inventory across search and display.

These quotes are taken from the Yahoo! transcript, published on Seeking Alpha a few hours after the call ended. If you think I missed something more important than these quotes, please copy and paste your quote from the full transcript and leave as a comment below.

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