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Yahoo! Q4 Earnings Beat Estimates

y Yahoo! Q4 Earnings Beat EstimatesHere’s the partial release text (full text here):

SUNNYVALE, Calif. – January 23, 2007 – Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) today reported results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2006.

Fourth Quarter 2006 Financial Results

* Revenues were $1,702 million for the fourth quarter of 2006, a 13 percent increase compared to $1,501 million for the same period of 2005.

* Marketing services revenue was $1,490 million for the fourth quarter of 2006, a 13 percent increase compared to $1,315 million for the same period of 2005.

* Fees revenue was $213 million for the fourth quarter of 2006, a 15 percent increase compared to $186 million for the same period of 2005.

* Revenues excluding traffic acquisition costs (“TAC”) were $1,228 million for the fourth quarter of 2006, a 15 percent increase compared to $1,068 million for the same period of 2005.

* Gross profit for the fourth quarter of 2006 was $1,012 million, a 12 percent increase compared to $906 million for the same period of 2005.

* Operating income for the fourth quarter of 2006 was $308 million (including $95 million for stock-based compensation expense recorded under the fair value method), a 6 percent decrease compared to $329 million (including $19 million for stock-based compensation expense recorded under the intrinsic value method) for the same period of 2005.

* Operating income before depreciation, amortization and stock-based compensation expense for the fourth quarter of 2006 was $540 million, an 18 percent increase compared to $459 million for the same period of 2005.

* Cash flow from operating activities for the fourth quarter of 2006 was $167 million, a 65 percent decrease compared to $481 million for the same period of 2005.

* Free cash flow for the fourth quarter of 2006 was $278 million, a 16 percent decrease compared to $330 million for the same period of 2005.

* Net income for the fourth quarter of 2006 was $269 million or $0.19 per diluted share (including $56 million of stock-based compensation expense, net of tax, recorded under the fair value method) compared to $683 million or $0.46 per diluted share (including $11 million of stock-based compensation expense, net of tax, recorded under the intrinsic value method) for the same period of 2005.

Full Year 2006 Financial Results

* Revenues were $6,426 million for 2006, a 22 percent increase compared to $5,258 million for 2005.

* Marketing services revenue was $5,627 million for 2006, a 22 percent increase compared to $4,594 million for 2005.

* Fees revenue was $798 million for 2006, a 20 percent increase compared to $664 million for 2005.

* Revenues excluding TAC were $4,560 million for 2006, a 23 percent increase compared to $3,696 million for 2005.

* Gross profit for 2006 was $3,750 million, a 19 percent increase compared to $3,161 million for 2005.

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The net dropped but Yahoo! beat consensus Wall Street estimates. Here’s more from Reuters and the WSJ.

Sue Decker is saying right now that page views grew 22% (in the quarter), indicating increased user engagement but revenue per page is down slightly. Revenue per search is also down somewhat — until Panama/Marketplace Design is fully operational (projected for February according to Semel’s statement). Decker says that Q1 will be the “slowest” growth quarter of ‘07 (”the trough”). Decker uses the phrase “cautiously optimistic” describing anticipated performance this year.

Semel earlier said there are 75 million Answers users around the world. Asked about video, he said online video advertising is a “big opportunity down the road” but right now there’s still “a lot of learning” happening.

Semel also stressed in earlier, prepared remarks that Y! had larger numbers of “under 35? year old users than MySpace. Interesting.

Greg Sterling is the founding principal of Sterling Market Intelligence, a consulting and research firm focused on online consumer and advertiser behavior and the relationship between the Internet and traditional media, with an emphasis on the local marketplace.