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Yahoo Misses Q2 Earnings Expectations, Beats Revenue Estimates

Yahoo slightly beat top-line revenue expectations for the second quarter of 2015 — on strong year-over-year growth in mobile, native, social and video ad sales — but posted earnings per share below Wall Street forecasts.

The Internet-media company posted revenue of $1.04 billion and adjusted earnings of 16 cents per share. Analysts had expected Yahoo to post revenue of $1.03 billion and EPS of 18 cents.

Yahoo called out higher revenue in its “Mavens” businesses, which comprise mobile, video ads and video ad packages, native ads, and Tumblr ads and fees. Revenue in that segment was $399 million for Q2, compared with $249 million in the year-ago period.

“Our Mavens investment businesses across mobile, video, native and social grew to nearly $400 million in revenue this quarter, delivering 60% GAAP growth year-over-year,” Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said in announcing the results. “Further, our display business saw the most substantial revenue growth since 2010. Yahoo’s transformation continues to make great progress.” She said that video advertising was up 60% in the most recent quarter, and that the company continues to integrate Yahoo’s audience data into BrightRoll’s demand-side video-ad platform.

For the third quarter, Yahoo projected net revenue of $1.0 billion to $1.04 billion and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of $200 million to $240 million. With the EBITDA outlook representing around a 25% decline, “We believe YHOO remains a show-me story,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney wrote in a research note.

“We remain concerned that strong growth in social-media advertising platforms, the rapid rise of programmatic ad buying, and the consistent expansion of the Google ecosystem are creating intensified headwinds for YHOO,” Mahaney wrote.

In Q2, Yahoo’s “non-Mavens” businesses, meanwhile, generated revenue of $725 million, down 2.3% from the year-earlier period. That segment comprises display ads served on PCs and other revenue allocated to user activity on PCs.

The company touted video developments during the quarter. Those included a pact with the NFL to be the league’s exclusive partner to deliver the first-ever live stream of a regular-season game for free over the Internet — the Oct. 25 match-up between the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars from London — as well as a live electronic-music competition series from exec producer Simon Cowell.

Last Friday, Yahoo announced plans to spin off its 384 million shares of Alibaba Group, worth more than $30 billion, into a new company called Aabaco Holdings. That’s scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter pending regulatory approval.

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