Yahoo shares up and down as profit tops expectations

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Yahoo shares rose and then fell back in after-hours trading on Monday as the struggling Internet pioneer topped Wall Street expectations despite a slip in quarterly profit.

Yahoo reported profit of US$272 million (S$336.9 million), an eight per cent drop from a year earlier, but the earnings figures were enough to make its stock jump more than four per cent before dropping back near the regular trading day closing price.

"I'm proud of Yahoo's 2012 and fourth quarter results," chief executive Marissa Mayer said in a release. In 2012, Yahoo saw its revenue grow for the first time in four years, according to Mayer. The company reported 2012 annual revenue of US$4.98 billion in a two per cent increase from the prior year.

"During the quarter we made progress by growing our executive team, signing key partnerships including those with NBC Sports and CBS Television, and launching terrific mobile experiences for Yahoo! Mail and Flickr," Ms Mayer said. "At the same time, we achieved tremendous internal transformation in the culture, energy and execution of the company."

Ms Mayer has said that she is pushing the Web giant's focus to mobile, including getting its employees on smartphones.

After becoming Yahoo CEO in July of last year, Ms Mayer said she wanted to tune the company's popular online properties and services to better connect with smartphones and tablet computers at the centre of Internet Age lifestyles.

Ms Mayer said that Yahoo will focus on things people want on their smartphones without trying to compete in areas such as hardware and operating systems.

Yahoo last year sold back billions of dollars worth of stock it held in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, getting an infusion of cash to use to buy back its own shares as well as make bets on the company's future.

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