Yahoo managed to surprise analysts today with the release of its fourth quarter earnings report, beating estimates and demonstrating that the company's new CEO, Marissa Mayer, has been steering it back on track after a three-year slump in revenue. Mayer left Google (News - Alert) for Yahoo in July.
Earnings for the final quarter of 2012 were down eight percent compared to the same period in 2011 at $272 million, or 23 cents per share. Earnings would have actually topped 2011 fourth quarter if not for an $83 million charge that Yahoo took into account for the recent closure of its South Korean operations.
Meanwhile, in terms of sheer revenue, the company managed an increase of two percent from the previous year to hit $1.35 billion, beating analyst predictions pegging the company's revenue at a flat $1.21 billion, and resulting in its first revenue gain for the full year since 2008.
A major factor in this performance is an upturn in Yahoo's international investments, while credit is being given to Mayer as Q4 2012 was her first full quarter with the company. Indeed, Yahoo's new CEO has been busy since her appointment attempting to bring the company back toward profitability through various means.
Mayer's first major move was to acquire mobile app start up Stamped as part of her plan to shift Yahoo's focus on mobile and social networking services. Stamped's iPhone (News - Alert) app allowed users to share recommendations for movies, books, music and restaurants. In other words, it let them give things they like a "stamp" of approval. Though the Stamped service was shut down after the acquisition, the team remained intact within Yahoo.
More recently, Yahoo signed a multiyear contract with Samsung to bring its entertainment platform the Korean electronics giant's Smart TVs, marking what some have called Mayer's biggest move as Yahoo's CEO.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman