Yahoo beat expectations in its fourth quarter, but Wall Street showed little enthusiasm. The company that owns the Web's most popular search engine saw its revenue rise 181 per cent to $25.1 million, while earnings before one-time charges were $2.57 million, up from a small loss in the year-ago period.
After charges for the purchase of Four11, the developer of Web-based mail service Rocketmail, the company recorded a loss of $1.28 million for the quarter. For the full year, Yahoo saw revenues rise 242 per cent above the 1996 level, with profits before charges of $2.21 million and a net loss of $22.9 million after charges.
Though these results beat expectations, Yahoo shares were down $1.66 at $65.34 on Thursday. But they were up 286.3 per cent year on year.
Yahoo also announced that average traffic on its Web site grew to 65 million page views per day in December, up from 50 million in September.
One of Wall Street's darlings during the early days of the Internet boom, Yahoo has done a better job than most in maintaining its momentum.
While Netscape, another Internet wonder company, has been hurt by years of merciless competition with Microsoft, and has just announced its first lay-offs, Yahoo has strengthened its position as the Web's foremost search service, and seems well placed to grab a sizeable chunk of the rapidly growing online advertising market.
In recent months, Yahoo has been enhancing the appeal of its Web site by adding new content. Last week, the company acquired a minority interest in Internet audio broadcaster Audionet. And earlier this week, Yahoo announced its entry into the online service provider market through a deal with MCI (see Newswire 15 January).
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