The ballyhoo about Yahoo may be warranted.
In a recent earnings webcast, it appeared that CEO Marissa Mayer’s tenacious turnaround plans may be starting to pay off.
“It’s still way too early to say, but in today’s third-quarter earnings report came a glimmer of hope,” noted recent earnings coverage at Forbes. “After many quarters of falling revenues, the long-struggling Internet company finally reported sales growth and a higher-than expected profit thanks partly to surging sales of mobile ads.”
Mobile, native advertising, video are the triumvirate of turnaround tactics.
Mayer revealed that Yahoo grossed more than $200 million in mobile revenues in the quarter — about 17 percent of total revenues — and is on track to top $1.2 billion in mobile ad sales this year. That would be more than a quarter of total revenues of $4.3 billion.
“We have invested deeply in mobile and we are seeing those investments pay off,” Mayer said in a statement. “Not only are our mobile products attracting praise and engagement from users and industry awards, they are generating meaningful revenue for Yahoo.”
It also appears that earnings from mobile search ad revenue is “somewhat higher” than display and is growing faster than mobile display. Display sales before traffic acquisition costs fell 6 percent to $396 million as ad prices spiraled down 24 percent.
During the earnings report, Mayer said native ads (ads that appear in the stream of news on Yahoo’s pages), reached $80 million per quarter. There was no delineation of the difference between ads on the desktop versus mobile devices.
Of course, analysts wanted to know what Mayer plans to do with the Alibaba windfall. She’s been expected to make one or more “marquee acquisitions,” though details were scarce. TechCrunch recently reported that the Yahoo CEO was known to be interested in buying video advertising firm BrightRoll for between $500 million and $1 billion.