Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), which has been under pressure to turn around its flagging performance, couldn’t afford to disappoint Wall Street this quarter. And the company did not. But it didn’t exactly surprise either, posting quarterly results in line with the mediocre results analysts had expected.
During the quarter, the company said its net revenue dropped to $1.12 billion, down slightly from the $1.13 billion in sales it reported during the same quarter a year ago; that marked the company’s eighth consecutive quarter of falling net sales. Earnings per share came in at a better-than-expected 29 cents but that figure included a one-time 13 cent per share gain on the sale of HotJobs. Analysts, on average, had expected net revenue of $1.13 billion and earnings per share of 15 cents.
The company said display ad sales increased 17 percent during the quarter, slightly ahead of some analysts’ estimates. Still, that figure was down from the 19 percent increase in display ad sales Yahoo had reported during the second quarter of the year and the company was unable to stop a drop-off in sales of search ads, which decreased 7 percent during the quarter.
Yahoo also isn’t expecting much — if any — growth ahead either. In its outlook, Yahoo said it expected net revenue to be in the range of $1.125 billion to $1.225 billion during the fourth quarter, which at best represents a 6 percent increase in sales and at worst represents a 2 percent drop-off in sales.
In its release, Yahoo revealed that it had been buying back aggressively, something it had suggested it would do when the company’s board authorized management to buy back up to $3 billion in stock in June. Yahoo said it had spent $868 million buying back shares during the quarter and this year to date has now purchased more than 7 percent of its stock.
Stockholders are reacting with a big shrug to today’s results. The company’s stock is up 0.19 percent in after-hours trading.