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Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO)

Q4 2008 Earnings Call

January 27, 2009 05:00 pm ET

Executives

Marta Nicols - IR

Carol Bartz - CEO

Blake Jorgensen - CFO

Jerry Yang - Co-founder and Chief Yahoo

Analysts

Youssef Squali - Jefferies & Company

Ben Schachter - UBS

Jeffrey Lindsay - Sanford Bernstein

Imran Khan - JP Morgan

Mark Mahaney - Citi

Doug Anmuth - Barclays Capital

Ross Sandler - RBC Capital Markets

James Mitchell - Goldman Sachs

Jason Helfstein - Oppenheimer & Company

Jeetil Patel - Deutsche Bank Securities

Gene Munster - Piper Jaffray

Sachin Shah - ICAP

Sandeep Aggarwal - Collins Stewart

Heath Terry - FBR Capital Markets

Justin Post - Merrill Lynch

Christa Quarles - Thomas Weisel Partners

Mark May - Needham & Company

William Morrison - Thinkequity

Brian Bolan - Sturdivant & Co.

Presentation

Operator

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Yahoo! Q4 2008 Earnings Conference Call. At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we will conduct a question-and-answer session. Please note that this conference is being recorded.

I will now turn the call over to Ms. Marta Nichols. Ms. Nichols, you may begin.

Marta Nichols

Thank you and good afternoon, and welcome to Yahoo!'s fourth quarter earnings conference call. On the call today will be Carol Bartz, Chief Executive Officer, and Blake Jorgensen, Chief Financial Officer.

Before we begin, I'd like to remind you that this call's discussions will contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties concerning Yahoo!'s expected financial performance, as well as Yahoo!'s strategic and operational plans. Actual results may differ materially from the results predicted and reported results should not be considered indicative of future performance.

The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, the impact of management and organizational changes; the implementation and results of Yahoo!'s ongoing strategic and cost reduction initiatives; Yahoo!'s ability to compete with new or existing competitors; reduction in spending buy or loss of marketing services' customers; the demand by customers for Yahoo!'s premium services; acceptance by users of new products and services; risks related to joint ventures and the integration of acquisitions, and the possibility that their parties may in the future make proposals to acquire all or part of Yahoo!, or take other actions which may create uncertainty for our employees, publishers, advertisers and other business partners; and the possibility of significant cost of defense, indemnification, and liability resulting from stockholder litigation.

Other potential factors that could affect the company's business and financial results are included in the company's annual and quarterly reports which are on file with the SEC. All information discussed on this call is as of today, January 27, 2009 and Yahoo! does not intend and undertakes no duty to update this information to reflect future events or circumstances.

On the call today we will discuss some non-GAAP financial measures as we talk about the company's performance, including operating income before depreciation, amortization and stock-based compensation expense, which will be referred to as operating cash flow; adjusted operating cash flow, revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs, which will be referred to as revenue ex-TAC; free cash flow, non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP net income per share. Reconciliations of these non-GAAP measures to the GAAP measures the company considers most comparable can be found on our corporate website, info.yahoo.com, under Investor Relations.

We have prepared remarks that should last about 25 minutes. Then we'll have a brief Q&A session with Carol and Blake. Jerry Yang will join us for Q&A as well.

And now I'd like to turn the call over to Carol.

Carol Bartz

You know, Marta, I should have understood all those risks before I took this job. Well, welcome everybody and thank you for joining us today. It's been eight days since I joined Yahoo! and I'm telling you I'm already feeling at home. The customers have been great; the partners and Yahoo!'s all over the world have been very welcoming. I've been getting emails by the hundreds from them and I've been spending my days meeting with as many people here as I can. I've encountered a wonderful energy, a real can-do attitude, a robust product pipeline and a tremendous dedication to making the experiences of our users and advertisers the best they can possibly be.

In fact, as an outsider reading the press last year, it was easy to assume that Yahoo! was fully distracted by external turmoil and that there was very little happening in the operating business. What I've learned in my brief time here is just the opposite. There's been a substantial and accelerating product innovation focused on creating even better experiences for all of Yahoo!'s customers.

To be sure, there are also fundamental issues that need to be addressed; sharpening our strategic focus, improving the pace of decision making, and continuing to streamline the business. I intend to move quickly to tackle these core issues and to capitalize on all the incredible opportunity that exist here at Yahoo!. I'll be saying more about that in a moment.

But first, let me summarize Yahoo!'s Q4 performance and then Blake will give you a more detailed discussion of the results. I'll then offer some thoughts on my first two weeks, and address a couple of questions that are probably on your minds.

Starting with Q4, you all know the weak global economic environment is impacting everyone and, of course, we were no exception. Revenue was down 1% to $1.8 billion, within the range given in October. On a constant currency basis, revenue grew 3% year-over-year. Despite the macro picture, there were some real bright spots in performance, display and search.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com