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Yahoo Revenue Tops Estimates While Focus Turns to Sale Process

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Chances for Verizon Communications have climbed as Google parent Alphabet, Time Inc. and United States broadcasting and cable television group Comcast all decided against making an offer, the Wall Street Journal said, citing unnamed sources, just before a reported deadline for submissions passed on Monday.

Yahoo’s reported Tuesday that its revenue plunged 11 percent in the first quarter to $1.09 billion, as a possible sale looms over the troubled search pioneer.

Yahoo said it sees second-quarter GAAP revenue of $1.05 billion to $1.09 billion – below analysts’ view of $1.10 billion.

In a prepared statement Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said that the company had made “substantial progress towards potential strategic alternatives for Yahoo” (read: sale).

Yahoo, under pressure from shareholders including activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP, launched an auction of its core business in February after it shelved plans to spin off its stake in Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba.

Yahoo reportedly has a handful of serious suitors including Verizon, which has been on something of a digital media buying spree.

Asked about the various strategic alternatives, Mayer noted that the company continued to do “some work” around the so-called reverse spin-off of Yahoo’s core business, “but obviously the larger volume of work is being done on the process around the sale”. That’s down from $2.75 billion, or $5.94 per share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

Revenues for the group, which is the main attraction in the bidding process and includes the Yahoo homepage and Mail, has dropped to $859 million, compared to $1.04 billion a year ago. During the same period previous year, the firm posted $0.15 earnings per share.

Meanwhile, it’s (bad) business as usual for Yahoo.

Shares of Yahoo were trading lower by 0.03 percent ahead of Tuesday’s market open. Nevertheless, Yahoo’s adjusted earnings trumped Wall Street estimates by a penny. Of course, any action that does not result in a near-term sale may also increase the chances that Starboard’s slate of Director nominees will take over the Board during the company’s upcoming Annual General Meeting, leading to the removal of management and / or a sale of the core business to the highest bidder for those assets.

During the recent first quarter earnings call, Mayer assured of “running a quality process created to keep interested parties engaged” which included some of the “most well-known, respected names in the industry“.

Yahoo shares rose 1.5 percent in after-hours trade following the results.

“There have been cases with this management team and this board where they’ve said they were going to do things over the last several years and then they didn’t follow through”, Smith added.

Yahoo was once one of the most powerful websites before it was overtaken by the likes of Google, Amazon and Facebook.

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