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Panama fails to cap sales

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Yahoo! first-quarter profit fell 11 per cent from last year, with the company falling short of analyst expectations for its new advertising platform, Panama.

Q1 profit was listed as $142.4m or 10 cents per share, down from $159.9m or 11 cents per share at the same quarter last year. Analysts had expected a profit of 11 cents per share, according to a Thomson Financial survey.

Although Yahoo! stock was up when the market closed, the penny-short profit made stocks fall by 6.3 per cent or $2.03 in extended trading.

Revenue rose seven per cent to $1.67bn with a strong demand for display ads and sales of text-only contextual ads late in the quarter. After subtracting commissions the company paid to advertising partners, Yahoo!'s total revenue was $1.18bn — $25m short of average analyst predictions.

Yahoo! has been fighting to keep up with net advertising giant Google which recently acquired DoubleClick for $3.1b cash.

Acting chief financial officer Susan Decker said Yahoo! planned to weed out poorly perfoming affiliates from its advertising network.

Despite the setback, Yahoo!'s sales target for 2007 remain unchanged from a range of of $4.95bn to $5.45bn. Meanwhile, analysts are eyeing a sales number of $5.33bn. ®

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