Yahoo profits soar fourfold

Internet portal Yahoo Inc. reported fourth-quarter income yesterday of $57.6 million before unusual charges, more than a fourfold increase over the same period last year. Revenue for the period more than doubled to $201.1 million, Yahoo said.

Separately, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company announced a two-for-one stock split, effective Feb. 14.

The company's traffic increased to an average of 465 million page views per day in December, compared with 167 million page views per day in the same period a year ago, Yahoo officials said.

"Yahoo has clearly established itself as a leading mass global communications, commerce and media platform," Tim Koogle, Yahoo's chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

Earnings for the quarter ended Dec. 31 were 19 cents per share before unusual charges, up from 4 cents per share a year ago. The figures exclude acquisition-related charges and other one-time costs. Including the charges, income was $44.7 million, or 15 cents per share, compared with income of $3.8 million, or 1 cent per share, a year ago. Financial analysts had expected the company to profit by 15 cents per share, according to First Call Corp.

For fiscal 1999, revenue was $588.6 million, compared with $245.1 million in fiscal 1998, an increase of 140%. Pro forma net income for the year was $142.7 million, or 48 cents per share, compared with $14.7 million, or 5 cents per share, a year ago, the company said.

The fourth-quarter results are the company's most successful to date in terms of revenue and users, officials said.

In December, Yahoo's global audience grew to 120 million unique users, double the 60 million users it served in the same period in 1998. The number of users outside the U.S. exceeds 40 million, and its non-U.S. revenue represented 13% of total revenue during the fourth quarter, Yahoo said. The company provides services locally in 12 languages.

The company's focus throughout the year was twofold, officials said: to provide users with communications, commerce and media content; and to provide advertisers and merchants with an interactive marketing platform.

Other highlights from Yahoo's fourth quarter include the following:

  • Yahoo's combined reach among home and work users increased to a record 64.7% in the U.S. during November last year, up from 49.6% in November 1998, according to analyst company Media Metrix.

  • Yahoo Japan's traffic, which is included in the above total, increased to more than 39 million page views per day on average during December last year, compared with more than 13 million page views per day in December 1998.

  • Yahoo Europe served more than 17 million page views per day and 18 million unique users during the month of December. In addition, Yahoo Europe's advertiser and merchant base grew to more than 880 clients during the fourth quarter.

  • Yahoo Shopping was one of the leading shopping destinations this holiday season in terms of traffic, with a weekly average of more than 3 million unique users, according to Media Metrix figures for the period Nov. 22 to Dec. 26.

  • Yahoo launched shopping services in the U.K., Ireland, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Korea and Canada. It also launched auctions in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Mexico, Brazil and Denmark.

Copyright © 2000 IDG Communications, Inc.

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