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Yahoo Exec: No Plans to Acquire AOL

Yahoo posts decline in Q2 revenue and earnings, while announcing deal with Alibaba to cut number of shares it is required to sell

Quelling rumors that Yahoo may be interested in acquiring AOL, a Yahoo executive said it does not have plans to buy the rival Internet media company.

At the Fortune Brainstorm Tech 2014 conference Tuesday, Yahoo chief development officer Jackie Reses was asked whether AOL would be acquired in the next two years, to which Reses said, “Not by us,” as reported by Re/code.

Also Tuesday, Yahoo reported second-quarter 2014 earnings — and CEO Marissa Mayer said she was “not satisfied” with the results.

Yahoo Search had a strong quarter with 6% year-over-year revenue growth (excluding total acquisition costs), and social, mobile, video and native-advertising areas also grew substantially, Mayer said. But the average price for its display advertising fell 24% in Q2, and revenue in category declined 8% to $436 million.

Display advertising “remains an area of investment and transition,” Mayer said, “further highlighting the fact that we need to work faster to ameliorate the negative trends.”

The Internet company’s worse-than-expected results “proved to be something of a false dawn for display,” Pivotal Research Group senior research analyst Brian Wieser wrote in a research note. “Not only has even a modest level of revenue from Tumblr seemingly failed to appear, but display shortfalls were more pronounced, too.” One factor hurting Yahoo: Big advertisers are generally spending less money on display advertising, by buying narrowly targeted audiences enabled by programmatic technologies, Wieser said.

Meanwhile, marketers are increasingly shifting budgets toward online video, an area Yahoo has been trying to bulk up. The company touted its recent deal to bring season six of “Community” to the Yahoo Screen service after NBC cancelled the show. Yahoo also highlighted its previously announced partnership with Live Nation to deliver live-streaming U.S. concerts on the web and pacts for its first two original comedies: “Other Space” from Paul Feig and “Sin City Saints” from Mike Tollin.

Over all, Yahoo revenue was $1.1 billion for the second quarter of 2014, down 4% from the year prior. Net income for the period was $270 million (which included restructuring charges as well as and gains from sales of patents), down 19% from Q2 2013.

Also Tuesday, Yahoo said it amended its deal with Chinese e-commerce and Internet giant Alibaba Group to reduce the maximum number of shares Yahoo is required to sell in connection with Alibaba’s IPO in the U.S., from 208 million shares to 140 million shares. And, according to CFO Ken Goldman, Yahoo will distribute at least half of the after-tax IPO proceeds to shareholders.

This past week, Alibaba updated the prospectus for its public offering to indicate it expects to raise as much as $15 billion, while it raised the estimated value of the company from $117 billion previously to $130 billion.

Yahoo shares, after rising initially in after-hours trading Tuesday, were down 2.6%.

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