Yahoo! reported earnings per share of $0.29, well above the $0.15 consensus estimate. Nearly half of those earnings, or $0.13 a share, was due to one-time sale of $186 million HotJobs during the quarter. A smaller but corresponding gain a year ago related to sale of some Alibaba assets, EPS still would have grown 86%. Operating margins doubled to 12%.
Yahoo’s pouring more resources into improving its display advertising revenues, revamping its advertising and content systems. CEO Carol Bartz noted that as of yesterday Yahoo! News switched over to a new unified code base, replacing 9 previous systems worldwide. The new back-end system should make it easier to experiment with new features and ad units and to iterate more quickly.
Bartz also revealed that so far this year, Yahoo has bought back 7 percent of its own shares.
Apparently, one of Yahoo’s problems before was an inflexible content management system which couldn’t deal with rolling out new features quickly or interactivity. According to Bartz, “to do a blogging event was an extremely hard engineering feat.”