Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) CEO Carol Bartz portrayed the company’s quarterly financial results as “solid” during Yahoo’s earnings call — pointing to a 20 percent increase in display ad sales as a sign that “large advertisers came back.” Businesses that cut back on their ad spending during the recession, she said, are now “re-emerging to position their brands online.”
Less rosy is the company’s search business, which saw sales drop 14 percent. But Bartz insisted Yahoo’s search market share had stabilized and said it would “trend up” this quarter. During his own remarks, CFO Tim Morse said the company was emphasizing “product enhancements” and marketing — on its own site and elsewhere — to grow search volume. Morse and Bartz both said search query volume had “bottomed.” Other highlights include:
— Microsoft search deal: Bartz said the company was in “detailed, deep” planning in order to transition advertisers and users with “quality” to Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT). She re-emphasized that the company is on track to complete the transition in the U.S. before the holiday season this year. However, she said, “If we get close to it and it’s not ‘quality enough’ we’ll wait to January.”
— Executive turnover: The company has seen a long list of executives leave in recent months but Bartz described the interest in their departures as “borderline strange.” She continued, “What surprises me is that all the great people we’re attracting seem to get less attention.”
— Video: “Video is exactly what advertisers are interested in,” Bartz said. In order to tap into that, the company is building one “consistent video platform” for all of its properties.
— Sponsored content: Bartz also talked about the success of some of the company’s sponsored content deals, noting, for instance, that the Who Knew? show on Yahoo News, which is sponsored by Toyota, had been streamed one million times during its first two days. Similar shows are coming to cooking, travel and other verticals, she said.