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Yahoo's Q1 ever so slightly beats weak expectations

No one cares, because all eyes are on sale process.

Yahoo said it earned eight cents a share today, compared to the seven cents Wall Street had been expecting. Muted yay.

That is still down from 15 cents a year ago. Definite boo.

Its revenue was $1.087 billion compared to an expectation of $1.08 billion. Even more muted yay.

That’s still a 12 percent drop. Big boo.

One interesting bit of math was in its MAVENS revenue — a strange word that CEO Marissa Mayer made up (it’s mobile, video and whatever). It was up in the quarter only $25 million, while non-MAVENS revenue was down by $100 million. That is called a delta.

Search revenue was also down and costs up (Mozilla and Oracle deals are pricey!) and display ad revenue was also down. Costs and also employee numbers (2,500 laid off, to a staff of 9,400) were down.

Cash flow is still low ($297 million that includes a $190 million tax refund). Guidance is down, as before. And Yahoo paid advisory people $9 million in the quarter (bankers get all the dough!).

Also here is a scary chart:

As I wrote earlier today, none of this matters, since everyone knows Yahoo’s core business is akin to a falling knife and all eyes are on the bidding for the company from suitors like Verizon, private equity powerhouses like TPG, Bain Capital and Vista Equity Partners.

No one really cares about this weak financial performance — it’s like caring that the crappy plumbing in an old house remains crappy — with the intense focus on the sale and also the looming proxy fight from Starboard Value. There may be some interest in possible patent and real estate sales to goose results, but that’s just noise.

What is critical in the conference call after the earnings are released will be what CEO Marissa Mayer will say to Wall Street about the bidding and the state of play within Yahoo, including efforts to retain employees in this fraught time.

Also of interest, its relationship with Japan’s SoftBank, which owns Yahoo Japan. Yahoo has a 35 percent stake too, and gets $240 million in annual payments from the company. As Re/code recently reported, SoftBank wants that to end, since it feels like it gets bupkis from the relationship, which is yet another complexity in this mess.

This article originally appeared on

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