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Will Yahoo's Q2 Earnings Report Defy Low Expectations?

Posted by: Rob Hof on July 21, 2009

Yahoo will report its second-quarter earnings today, and few investors are looking for much cheer in the results. Yahoo is expected to report a profit before special charges of 8 cents a share on net revenues of $1.14 billion before payments to Web site partners, down from a 10-cent profit on $1.35 billion in sales a year ago.

I’ll be liveblogging the results and the 2 p.m. Pacific analyst call in a new post. You can also see the release here when it’s out around 1:30 p.m. Pacific and listen to the analyst call here.

For now, here’s what investors and analysts will be looking for:

* Any sign of an ad turnaround, or at least a bottom. But they don’t expect Yahoo to lead the way, both because Google’s second-quarter sales growth was an anemic 3% and because display is expected to take even longer than search ads to bounce back.

* Clues to how Yahoo’s search service is doing vs. Microsoft’s recently launched Bing and, of course, Google. With display ads fading, search ad revenues become all the more important to Yahoo.

* Signs that CEO Carol Bartz’s layoffs, shutdowns of some services, and other cost-cutting and reorganizing are paying off on the bottom line. If there’s going to be any upside surprise, this is about the only place it could appear.

* Any word on a Microsoft deal, which various reports indicate is back on the table. But unless the deal’s done already, Yahoo won’t be saying anything about this. Besides, there have been many false starts in recent months.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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