Dying! Yahoo! writes! off! half! of! the! $1bn! it! paid! for! Tumblr!

'Still some value there' Gartner analyst tells El Reg as web biz writhes in pain

A burning dumpster

Yahoo! fell short of already-low expectations as the shriveling internet icon continues to limp towards its impending sale.

CEO Marissa Mayer had no update on the Purple Palace's quest for a buyer, but said the company was still working on the sale of its core business.

"In addition to our efforts to improve the operating business, our board has made great progress on strategic alternatives," Mayer said.

Overall, the Q2 2016 picture was pretty grim for Yahoo:

  • Revenues of $1.3bn were technically up from $1.24bn in the 2015 quarter, though this was only due to shifting numbers related to the Microsoft search deal. Yahoo says that, in reality, GAAP revenues were $1.05bn, down 15 per cent.
  • Net loss was $440m on the quarter, compared to a loss of $22m in Q2 2015.
  • Search revenues were down 13 per cent year-over-year.
  • The aptly-named Tumblr continues to be a cash sink for Yahoo, as the blogging platform required a $482m write-down this quarter thanks to lost value. Yahoo paid $1.1bn to acquire Tumblr in 2013.
  • Paid clicks were down 24 per cent.
  • Display ad revenue of $470m was down 7 per cent on the year-ago quarter. Price per ad was down 15 per cent.
  • Non-GAAP earnings per share (EPS) were 9 cents, short of the 10 cents analysts had expected.
  • Yahoo's sale of its Silicon Valley real estate holdings brought in a $246m cash infusion.

While not particularly encouraging, the figures do not look to have a major impact on the impending sell-off of Yahoo's core business, an outcome that is all but a certainty for the Purple Palace at this point.

Andrew Frank, research vice president and distinguished analyst with Gartner, said that the numbers shouldn't scare off investors, who would likely be more interested in Yahoo's media footprint.

"As part of a more diverse portfolio of media and companies, there is still some value there," he told The Register.

"The big picture is that it is still very hard to succeed in the internet as a content company, and that is why I think diversification is important."

Should things continue as expected, Monday's announcement may be the last one for Yahoo as an independent company, and perhaps one of the final appearances by Mayer as CEO. If and when that happens, she stands to pull in an exit package worth $55m. ®


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