Yahoo announces Q1 income decline, staff cutbacks

After twice lowering the bar on its first-quarter earnings and revenue targets, Yahoo finally hit its mark, posting slightly more than break-even results Wednesday for the quarter ending March 31.

The company posted net revenue totalling US$180.2 million, compared to $230.8 million for the first quarter last year, citing a marked drop-off in online advertising as the cause of the company's lackluster results. Pro forma net income came in at $7.6 million, and diluted net income per share totalled $0.01.

Last year pro forma net income was $60.5 million, or $0.10 per diluted share for the first quarter.

This quarter's figures only slightly outperformed revised analysts expectations; a First Call/Thompson Financial census of analysts predicted "no gain" for the quarter.

To help manage expenses, the company also announced that it will reduce its workforce of 3,510 employees by approximately 12 percent within 30 days.

In lieu of dwindling advertising,Yahoo issued an earnings warning Jan. 11, predicting per share earnings of between $0.33 and $0.43, considerably less than the $0.57 Wall Street was anticipating. Further feeling the pinch of the dot-com downturn, the company released a second earnings warning March 7, stating it only expected to break even, with revenues between $170 and $180 million.

Last year, the Internet search, communications and commerce giant relied on advertising for 90 percent of its revenue.

The results were announced after the market closed on Wednesday. Yahoo's stock (YHOO) ended the day at $15.91, a small strengthening from the 52-week low it hit April 3 at $11.375. The stock has been given a beating in the volatile tech market, losing 90 percent of its value from its one-time high.

Yahoo also announced Wednesday that its senior vice president of International Operations Heather Killen is expected to leave the company in mid-June.

The company has hired Switzerland-based executive search firm Egon Zehnder International to replace her.

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