Yahoo! Inc. Slides Verizon Deal Back to Q2

By Anders Bylund Markets Fool.com

Online information portal Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO) reported results for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2016 after the closing bell on Monday. Citing the pending buyout offer from Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), management declined to hold a conference call with analysts.

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Yahoo!'s fourth-quarter results: The raw numbers

Metric

Q4 2016

Q4 2015

Year-Over-Year Change

Revenue

$1.47 billion

$1.27 billion

16%

Net income

$64 million

$64 million

N/A

GAAP EPS (diluted)

$0.17

($4.70)

N/A

Data source: Yahoo!

What happened with Yahoo! this quarter?

Mobile traffic and video services continued to take a more prominent role in Yahoo!'s product portfolio in the fourth quarter.

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  • Bottom-line earnings were held back by a $4.45 billion non-cash goodwill impairment charge in the year-ago quarter. There were no such accounting adjustments in the fourth quarter of 2016. Backing out that enormous non-cash line item and other one-time charges, adjusted fourth-quarter earnings nearly doubled from $0.13 to $0.25 per diluted share.
  • Mobile revenues rose 58% year over year, landing at $459 million. Desktop traffic produced 2.6% revenue growth, stopping at $955 million.
  • Breaking the revenue stream down from a different perspective, operations under the Mavens banner delivered 25% sales growth while non-Mavens services settled at 10% growth. As a reminder, Mavens refers to operations in Yahoo!'s mobile, video, and native ads divisions, plus the impact from recently acquired businesses.
  • The number of paid search clicks decreased by 21% compared with the year-ago quarter. At the same time, price per click increased by 18%.
  • The Verizon transaction is still a work in progress. Yahoo! now expects to close the deal in the second quarter of 2017, as the work required to meet closing conditions is taking more time than expected.

The company did not supply any financial guidance for the coming quarter or fiscal year.

Image source: Yahoo!

What management had to say

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer underscored the company's commitment to the existing strategic plan, even as management worked to close the Verizon deal.

"With our 2016 and Q4 financial results ahead of plan, and the continued stability in our user engagement trends, the opportunities ahead with Verizon look bright," Mayer said in a prepared statement.

Looking ahead

As a standalone business, Yahoo!'s Maven focus is paying off. These operations are growing sales quickly, and profits are following suit. Adjusted EBITDA profits rose 51% in the fourth quarter to $324 million, and free cash flows jumped from roughly breakeven to a healthy $231 million.

Verizon has been showing signs of cold feet about its pending Yahoo! buyout. At the very least, this solid report did nothing to undermine Verizon's confidence and may have helped pushing the deal along.

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Anders Bylund has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Verizon Communications and Yahoo! The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.