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Highflying Yahoo Posts Strong Quarter

July 09, 1998|From Times Wire Services

SANTA CLARA — Yahoo Inc., the Internet darling whose stock recently has rocketed, reported unexpectedly strong quarterly results on Wednesday as millions more people visited its popular Web site.

The Santa Clara-based company also announced a 2-for-1 stock split and disclosed that Softbank Holdings Inc. of Japan had paid $250 million to boost its stake in the company to 31%.

Yahoo said it lost $36 million, or 81 cents per diluted share, in the three months ended June 30. That was wider than the loss of $21.6 million, or 50 cents per diluted share, in the comparable year-ago period.

But excluding a one-time charge of $44 million for an acquisition during the period, Yahoo earned $8.1 million, or 15 cents a share--far outperforming analysts' estimates of 9 cents a share, according to a survey by First Call Inc.

Yahoo's stock nearly doubled in the last month amid a surge of investor enthusiasm for Internet-related companies. Yahoo sells advertising on its site, which includes a range of features from chat, news and search services.

Yahoo shares fell $4.81 to $186.19 on Nasdaq in regular Wednesday trading, before the earnings were released. But in after-hours trading following the report the stock soared as high as $202, lifting many other Internet-related issues as well.

"Investors are going to be using Yahoo as a barometer for the near-term health of the industry," said analyst Derek Brown of Volpe Brown Whelan & Co., who rates the stock "neutral."

On Wednesday, Yahoo said its average daily page views rose to 115 million in June from 95 million in March. A page view is one electronic page of information displayed in response to a user request. Internet companies use page views to measure traffic, or the number of users, on a Web site.

The company also said its registered user base increased to 18 million members from more than 12 million in March.

Last month, Yahoo warned in a federal filing that it expected to report a loss this quarter and for the year after a charge for its $49-million purchase of Viaweb Inc., a closely held company that makes electronic-commerce software to host online stores.

Yahoo plans to start a new service based on Viaweb's software to set up, design and host Web sites that let people buy and sell goods over the Internet.

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