Yahoo Sees Bump in Annual Revenues Under Mayer Leadership

Yahoo's 2012 revenue was up 2 percent from the year before, the first such increase since 2008 for the troubled company. Its share price rose slightly in after-hours trading.

Yahoo’s 2012 revenue was up 2 percent from the year before, the first such increase since 2008 for the troubled company. Its share price rose slightly in after-hours trading.

Liveblogged from the earnings call:

Company saw dramatic change of approach, with “a new major initiative almost every other week,” Mayer said.

“Focusing on people and products” = talent and launches.

Mayer’s leadership has boosted employee confidence in the company’s future. Yahoo has also seen attrition diminish and “an increase in quality and volume of people applying to join Yahoo.”

She notes recent acquisitions: Stamped, OntheAir and Snip.it.

Decemeber saw redesigned Yahoo mail, with mobile “top of mind.” Since launch daily active users is up 10 percent year-over-year.

Flickr redesign was featured in App Store. Since then, increase of 20 percent in photos shared.

There is increased oversight on the company’s finances.

Mayer passes the mic to CFO Ken Goldman to talk finances. See the numbers here. Goldman is new.

Search revenue growth grew in Q4 up 14 percent adjusted (minus TAAC) to $427 million. Costs went up in Q4, but they did decrease spending on some line items. Annual numbers, display revenue fell slightly while search ad revenue rose 9 percent.

Click-throughs on ads are also up from some tweaks. Goldman gives a shout out for some Microsoft help here. He’s much more positive about the Microsoft search partnership than Yahoo has been in the past.

Mayer says they may cut ad inventory in the short term, but better user experiences will result in better engagement and more revenue in the long run. This would bring Yahoo more into line with the sleek interfaces of other companies.

Expenses were up 3 percent over the past year. Ended the year with 11,500 employees, down 18 percent over 2011.

Alibaba is doing great, while sale is still planned. Their stake is worth more than $8 billion, in addition to preferred shared Yahoo owns.

Capital expenditures: investments in faster equipment and “a richer data set” which is important part of the company’s long-term plans, Goldman says, sounding like former CEO Scott Thompson.

Mexican lawsuit: Court entered $2.75 billion judgment. We believe claims are without merit and have appealed. They have net set aside money to pay it because they’re sure they’ll win. Don’t ask any questions about this; we won’t say more.

Predict $1.07 billion in revenue for Q1, will see loss from Microsoft search deal and loss of Korean operations.

We expect to invest more in first half of 2013. Second half of the year hope their investments will pay off.

Mayer takes the mic again to talk about how company will grow in 2013.

Three key business opportunities: more users, greater international presence and appealing to a bigger demographic of users.  Achieving the growth we aspire to will take years. Fist step to create chain reaction is great products. They’ve identified a dozen “daily digital habits” to drive their products. She won’t say which they are, but they will make their way through the list in each quarter.

“While the road to growth is certain, it will not be immediate.”

In terms of advertising: search, display, mobile video. Another positive mention attention of Microsoft partnership, which is a 180 from previous CEO’s strategy talks.

In 2012, monthly unique visitors on mobile grew to 200 million. “Monetization always follows users, and mobile will be no different.”

Video is a very hot advertising platform. Some types of units are sold six months in advance.

We’re committed to growing the international portion of revenue in the future.

“Yahoo helped define consumer internet as a daily digital habit. We’re returning to these roots.”