If this were any other financial quarter for Yahoo, its earning results would be unremarkable. Net revenue continued to decline. Profit was slightly up. It exceeded analysts’ low expectations.
But this wasn’t an ordinary quarter. It was Yahoo’s first reporting period since Verizon agreed to buy the beleaguered Sunnyvale, Calif., company. It was the first since it dropped the bombshell that it got hacked in 2014 in a breach that compromised 500 million user accounts — an attack that may have a “material” impact on Verizon’s $4.8 billion offer.
On both the breach and the sale, Yahoo remained tight-lipped, forgoing its usual live webcast with analysts — presumably to dodge thorny questions. After the close of markets, Yahoo instead issued its report and a statement from Chief Executive Marissa Mayer [pictured above], who said the company is “busy preparing for integration with Verizon,” and it remains “very confident, not only in the value of our business, but also in the value Yahoo products bring to our users’ lives.”
The company’s silence doesn’t come as a surprise, according to Forrester Research analyst Fatemeh Khatibloo, because Yahoo is likely under constraints as to what it can say.
“It would have been an hour of ‘Sorry, no comment,’ which probably would have been more frustrating,” Khatibloo said.
The company recorded $1.3 billion in revenue in the three months ending Sept. 30, up from $1.2 billion a year earlier. But its traffic acquisition costs soared, doubling from $223 million during the same period last year to $448 million this year, which meant, overall, its net revenue actually declined. Profit doubled from $76 million last year to $163 million. Yahoo recorded earnings of 17 cents per diluted share.
The company’s stock closed on Tuesday at $41.68, down 11 cents. It was up 1.42% in after-hours trading.
Despite the improvement in top-line revenue,…