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Yahoo! profits! drop! slightly!

But the market expected it!

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Yahoo! today reported a slight drop in quarterly profits from last year, but a figure in line with previously lowered expectations. The company's second quarter results are the first dose of earnings to arrive since co-founder Jerry Yang replaced Terry Semel as CEO.

Yahoo!'s net Q2 income was $161m, matching market estimates but falling short of the $164m the company earned a year ago. Sales reached $1.7bn for the quarter, up 8 per cent from the same period last year. Excluding payments made to advertising partners, Yahoo!'s sales were at $1.24bn. The results complete six straight quarters of declining profits for the portal.

"I am focused on doing everything we need to do to strengthen our business, capture long-term growth opportunities and create increased value for our shareholders." CEO Jerry Yang said in a statement. "By sharpening our focus, speeding execution, building our technology and talent, and investing in key growth areas, we can put Yahoo! on a clear path to fulfill its potential as an Internet leader.”

Yahoo! is still recovering from an executive shuffle performed last month under pressure from unhappy shareholders to catch up with Google in the search advertisement market. Including usurping Semel as CEO, Yahoo! lost Wenda Millard, the company's longtime chief sales officer.

Earlier this month, Yahoo! unveiled a new banner ad platform called SmartAds that allows marketers to target web surfers according to their online behavior. In February, the company introduced Project Panama, an advertising program designed to make text ads more relevant to searches. The company claims the new software is boosting results.

"Over the last several months, we have made considerable progress driving much tighter focus within our core operations to drive growth," said Yahoo president, Susan Decker. "This will take time and continued investment, but we are operating with a great sense of urgency."

Yahoo forecasts third quarter revenue of $1.17bn to $1.2bn. For end of year results, the company expects revenue of $4.89bn to $5.19bn. ®

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