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Fabiola Arredondo, MD of Yahoo Europe
"We see it as an endorsement of the web"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 12 January, 2000, 06:38 GMT
Yahoo denies merger plans

Internet media group Yahoo saw its revenues double in the fourth quarter of 1999 as millions of people clicked on to their websites.

Yahoo confirmed its reputation as one of the most popular internet portals when it said its unique users had doubled from 60 million a year ago to 120 million.

AOL/Time Warner Special Report
But the company has denied rumours that it plans to buy a media company to compete with rival AOL, whose merger with Time Warner created the world's largest internet company.

A Yahoo spokesman told the BBC that the company planned to continue its strategy of staying independent, pointing out that previous mergers between portals and media companies, such as Infoseek's acquisition by Disney, have not been advantageous.

But Yahoo may become the target of takeovers itself.

Other companies looking around for deals to rival the AOL/Time Warner deal would find in Yahoo a "very desirable target", Peter Kreisky, vice president of Mercer Management in Lexington said.

Sales boost

Its December page traffic averaged 465 million page views per day, compared with an average of 167 million a year ago.

In the fourth quarter of 1999, its revenues totalled $201.1m, compared with $91.3m the previous year.

In the same quarter, it earned $57.5m, or 19 cents per diluted share. This is more than four times the $12.9m, or four cents per share, it earned last year.

The company also announced a two-for-one stock split, which will be effective on 14 February.

Yahoo in driving seat

While analysts had anticipated Yahoo to fare well, the revenues and jump in page usage still topped expectations.

"The intiial reaction is that the numbers came in very strongly. The page view number was outstanding, it was way ahead of what we were expecting," one analyst said.

Since the Time Warner/AOL merger was announced on Monday, some analysts have said that Yahoo could be next on the merger list.

"Yahoo! is sitting in the driver's seat,'' Carolyn Trabuco, an analyst with First Union Securities, said. "I think Yahoo! can do any deal that it wants to do.'"

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See also:
10 Jan 00 |  Business
The AOL - Time Warner merger
11 Jan 00 |  Business
Can the internet save old media?
06 Dec 99 |  Business
America's E-Christmas boom

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