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Thursday, 11 April, 2002, 20:48 GMT 21:48 UK
Yahoo stock drops sharply
Yahoo graphic
Yahoo: Share price premium 'no longer justified'
Shares in Yahoo, the US-based internet portal, have fallen sharply as investors took a dim view of the company's latest statement on performance and prospects.

The results, for the first three months of 2002, showed a sixth quarterly loss in a row and a 15% slump in advertising revenue.

They were revealed after the close of trading on Wednesday.

The shares closed down $2.99, or 15.2%, at $15.45 on Thursday.

While the news from the company was not entirely negative - revenue exceeded most forecasts - analysts said the premium of Yahoo's share price to rival media groups was no longer justified.

This was partly because there was little certainty that ad revenues would bounce back, they said.

"(Yahoo) has not passed the test," said Arnold Berman, technology strategist at SoundView Technology Group.

Revised valuations

Yahoo reported a net loss of $53.7m (37.4m) for the quarter compared with a $11.5m loss in the same period the year before.

Excluding one-offs and other extraordinary items, however, it turned a modest profit of $10.5m, roughly in line with expectations.

A large part of the loss was the result of accounting changes to reflect new, reduced valuations of assets bought during the tech boom years.

Yahoo was keen to point out that revenue was $192.7m, up from $180.2m a year earlier and against a prediction of about $175m.

As for the current quarter, Yahoo said revenues would rise to $205m-225m, while company watchers are betting on $192m.

"We posted solid results this quarter due to the transformation of Yahoo's business model," said chief executive Terry Semel.

"Our quarterly performance demonstrates continued momentum as we move forward in executing on our strategic objectives."

See also:

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