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Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO)

Q3 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

October 19, 2010 5:00 pm ET

Executives

Marta Nichols – VP, IR

Carol Bartz – CEO

Tim Morse – CFO

Analysts

Youssef Squali – Jefferies & Co.

Jason Helfstein – Oppenheimer

Mark Mahaney – Citi

Jeetil Patel – Deutsche Bank Securities

Justin Post – Bank of America-Merrill Lynch

Imran Khan – JP Morgan

Brian Pitz – UBS

Presentation

Operator

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Yahoo! third quarter 2010 earnings conference call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will be conducting a question-and-answer session. Please note that this conference is being recorded.

I would now turn the call over to Ms. Marta Nichols, Vice President of Investor Relations. Ms. Nichols, you may begin.

Marta Nichols

Good afternoon, and welcome to Yahoo!’s third quarter 2010 earnings conference call. On the call with me today are Carol Bartz, Chief Executive Officer; and Tim Morse, Chief Financial Officer.

Before we begin, I’d like to remind you that today’s call will contain forward-looking statements concerning matters such as our expected financial and operational performance and long-term financial objectives, as well as our expectations for the economy in general and online advertising in particular, the financial and operational impact of our search alliance with Microsoft, and our strategic operational and product plans.

Actual results may differ materially from the results predicted in our statements and reported results should not be considered indicative of future performance. Potential risks and uncertainties that could cause our business and financial results to differ materially from our forward-looking statements are described in our Form 10-Q filed with the SEC August 9, 2010 as well as the earnings release included as Exhibit 99.1 to the Form 8-K we furnished today to the SEC.

All information discussed on this call is as of today, October 19, 2010, and Yahoo! does not intend and undertakes no duty to update this information to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

On today’s call, we’ll also discuss some non-GAAP financial measures as we talk about the company’s performance. These may include total expenses less traffic acquisition costs or TAC, and revenue excluding TAC. Reconciliations of those non-GAAP measures to the GAAP measures we consider most comparable can be found on our corporate Web site, info.yahoo.com, under Investor Relations.

We’ll begin with the prepared remarks, then we’ll have a brief Q&A session with Carol and Tim.

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

Carol Bartz

Thanks, Marta, and thanks everybody for joining us. On today’s call, we’ll discuss how we’re executing on our plan for Yahoo!, talk about our performance during the quarter, answer questions we know are top of mind, and of course as Marta said open the call to Q&A.

Before I get to how we did during the quarter, I want to reiterate our vision for Yahoo!, our plan, and how we’re executing against it. Yahoo! is an innovative technology company that operates the largest digital media, content, and communications business in the world. The key words here are innovative, technology, media, content and communications. That’s what we’re all about.

Technology certainly makes Internet possible, but content and communication is widely used. Content drives everything from search to social network. The creation and curation of content is more important than ever, and will continue to be as the use of Internet grows and evolves.

As for our plan, it revolves around the two things we have always told you, growing our revenue and increasing profitability. Everything we are doing is designed to drive us towards these two goals.

To do that, we’re working to reverse years of decelerating growth. To increase profitability, we have to be extremely focused and efficient, and to grow our revenue, we have to grow our users and engagement.

When I first arrived here almost 21 months ago, we stepped back and took a good look at the company. To deliver higher profitability and stronger growth, we realized we had to make a series of substantial changes. We had to reorganize the company to breakdown silos, so we can move faster, eliminate redundancy, and improve our cost structure. We had to organize and make better use of the incredible amounts of data we collect to improve the user and advertiser experience.

We had to answer the big question about how best to compete in search, which at the time was another declining trend for the company; and we needed to create fundamentally better platforms and infrastructure across the company so we could move more quickly to deliver the kind of quality content and experiences our users and advertisers deserve.

Since then we’ve been working hard to create a stronger, more disciplined and focused company. This also includes making our organization more efficient, more lean, and more nimble.

One byproduct of any change is always movement of people. Some people leave, some get promoted, and some good new people arrive. The most important thing is making sure the right person is in the right job at the right time.

So with that said, what have we done to reengineer Yahoo! First, we partnered with Microsoft in search, and are executing a massive transition of our algo and paid platforms beginning in the U.S. and Canada all on schedule.

Second, we continued to enhance our APT platform to make buying and selling display advertising easier. We’ve been working hard, beginning to move off our old systems. The result of that will be higher yields through better targeting, inventory management, and serving systems. Ultimately, we will be able to combine our Class 1 and Class 2 inventory on APT into a unified marketplace.

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