In What May Be Yahoo's Final Earnings Call, No Update on Sale Effort

Both Search and Display Advertising Decline at Former Tech Titan

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Credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
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With an imminent sale of its core business looming, Yahoo may have very well posted its final quarterly earnings on Monday.

The company reported revenue of $1.31 billion for the second quarter, up from $1.24 billion in the equivalent period a year earlier.

Revenue for what Yahoo calls its "Mavens" business, referring to products including mobile and video advertising, rose to $504 million from $401 million.

Traffic acquisition costs ballooned to $466 million from $200 million, however, and both search and display ad revenue declined. Search revenue fell to $319 million from $422 million while display slipped to $396 million from $410 million.

Operating costs declined to $552 million from $647 million in the second quarter of 2015.

The results combined for a net loss of $439.9 million, significantly larger than the $25.5 million loss in the quarter a year earlier.

"With the lowest cost structure and headcount in a decade, we continue to make solid progress against our 2016 plan," Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said in the company's statement of its results. "Through disciplined expense management and focused execution, we delivered Q2 results that met guidance across the board and in some areas exceeded it."

Regardless of how the company performed, many investors were paying attention to hear something on the status of Yahoo's upcoming sale, as Verizon, Quicken Loans and several private equity companies compete for the company's core assets minus its stake in Alibaba Group.

Yahoo opted not to provide any new updates to shareholders.

"By separating Yahoo's operating business from our equity stake in Alibaba, there is substantial value that we can potentially unlock," Ms. Mayer said during a call to discuss the results. "To that end, the right transaction could strategically and efficiently achieve such a separation. Our board's independent strategic review committee which is leading a well-run robust process continues to manage this effort and we're making great progress."

"While we have no announcement today, I can say we're deep into the process of evaluating proposals and alternatives and will update our shareholders as soon as it's prudent," she added. "In parallel, we will continue to strengthen the execution of our 2016 strategic plan. As I've said before, our plan complements the strategic alternatives process is important to maximize the value of Yahoo in any scenario."

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