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Tuesday, 11 July, 2000, 21:39 GMT 22:39 UK
Yahoo! delivers growth and earnings

Internet portal and access provider Yahoo! has surprised investors by reporting much stronger second-quarter earnings than expected.

The results will come as a relief to the internet sector, which has been out of fashion on the stockmarkets lately. As a result, the share price of many online firms has been severly depressed, starving many firms of a ready source for capital.

On Tuesday, the doubters were still in the majority. Yahoo's share price lost as much as 8%, as investors feared that the company might not be able to continue the strong performance shown during the past year.

But Yahoo! proved them wrong.

680m page views per day

The internet figures are impressive: Page views rose to an average 680m per day in June, up from 625m in March, while Yahoo!'s various web sites recorded 156m unique users worldwide, including 20m in Japan.

Yahoo! chairman Tim Koogle said: "This quarter's better-than expected financial results underscore the strength of our global franchise business."

Net earnings weighed in at $73.9m, up 274% on the same period last year when the firm recorded just $27m.

Wall Street analysts had expected earnings per share of 10 cents, and the "whisper" figure - making the rounds just before results were released - had pushed expectations to 11 cents.

But Yahoo! trumped this with earnings of 12 cents per share in the April-to-June period.

Sales during the quarter rose 110% to $270.12m.

Jeff Mallett, Yahoo!'s president and chief operating officer, said: "We made significant progress this quarter in our five key areas of focus - mobile services, rich media and voice services, enabling transactions, business and enterprise services, and globalisation."

Investors reacted positively to the news. In after-hours trading the firm's shares gained $7.5 to $113.

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